A longtime ranching family is selling the 50,000-acre N3 Ranch near Livermore, after 85 years of family ownership.

The ranch has an entrance near Lake Del Valle, about 14 miles from downtown Livermore. It is so large that parts of it are located in four counties — Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus. It is the biggest ranch for sale in California.

The asking price is $72 million. The broker, Todd Renfrew of California Outdoor Properties, said, “I listed it Friday, and I already got a ton of calls on it.”

Renfrew said that the ranch was started in the 1930s by Clara Vickers Naftzger, and expanded later by her son, Roy Naftzger, Jr., who made purchases from the 1950s through the 1980s. Naftzger’s daughters have been operating it for the past 20 years, but now feel it’s time to sell.

In a YouTube video posted on Renfrew’s web site, a five-minute video shows a beautiful, pristine area that is a working cattle ranch, with many rolling grassy hills, common to the Livermore Valley. Although the video does not show it, the 4,000-foot Eylar Mountain in Santa Clara County can be seen from the ranch. Eyker Mountain is located about a dozen miles from Mount Hamilton.

SELLERS HOPE TO KEEP IT PRISTINE

Renfrew said that the sisters selling the ranch would like to see the pristine setting preserved, with a conservation organization as the ideal buyers. They definitely do not want urban development there, added Renfrew.

East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) leases to N3 Ranch some 4,000 acres of adjoining property. Kristine Kelchner, Assistant General Manager of Acquisition, Stewardship & and Development, said the district has been following the situation closely.

“We are always interested in passive recreational opportunities. There is a lot of buzz about it in the park community. It would be wonderful to see it preserved,” said Kelchner.

Since the ranch is spread through four counties, it would take a large partnership to bring off a coordinated approach to preservation, said Kelchner.