Roth Family Donation Sparks a Legacy of Environmental Education and Research

William and Joan Roth (far right) with their children (left to right) Maggie, SSU Preserves Director Claudia Luke, Jessica, grandson Willem Vorster and his mother Ana Roth.

Less than a year before his death in May 2014, William Matson Roth was thinking of Sonoma State University (SSU) and the nature preserve that he and his family's philanthropy had created in the hills above the campus.

In their most recent "gift of generosity," William and Joan Roth as well as their children Jessica, Maggie and Anna, donated a 40-acre parcel at the top of Sonoma Mountain to cement the future of the 450-acre Fairfield Osborn Preserve they had helped create.

The property carries a "forever wild" conservation easement with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District that blocks any future development or access roads through the preserve.

SSU now owns a total of 450 acres of property on Sonoma Mountain including its 2,300-foot high northern ridgeline.

Luke says the new donation is a crucial component of a regional habitat corridor that connects the Blue Ridge and Mayacama Mountains to Point Reyes National Seashore.

"The Roth's dreams have been heard … they are in safe hands and are on a trajectory to change the world," says Luke.