Animal Conservation

6,000 acres of premier open space in Los Angeles County now protected

With the acquisition of 6,000 acres of open space, California is taking another step in its efforts to conserve 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030, also known as the 30×30 initiative. Los Angeles County’s largest undeveloped private property is now part of an ecologically protected area that will preserve habitat and expand wildlife corridors between the San Gabriel, Sierra Madre and Santa Susanna Mountains.

The 6,006-acre Hathaway/Temescal Ranch property is 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and adjacent to both Angeles National Forest and Los Padres National Forest between Castaic Reservoir and Piru Lake. Hathaway/Temescal Ranch is land that has been used for ranching and grazing, but other than a modest ranch, it is undeveloped. The property includes wetlands, hills and is in the flight path of condors from the nearby Sespe Condor Sanctuary.

The property was acquired in three phases by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land and transferred to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a local government agency exercising joint powers of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the recreation and park districts. of Conejo and Rancho Simi. The California Wildlife Conservation Board played a key role in acquiring the land and funded nearly half of the purchase, including $3.5 million to secure the final stage.

The property is in an “Important Ecological Area” designated by Los Angeles County. It helps create a critical east-west link between the San Gabriel and Sierra Madre mountains as well as a north-south link between the Sierra Madre and Santa Susanna mountains, both highlighted in the South Coast Missing Links Project, which is a comprehensive plan for a regional network that would maintain and restore critical habitat links between existing reserves. These connections form the backbone of a conservation strategy for Southern California.

The acquisition is another step toward California’s 30×30 conservation goals. This commitment is part of an international movement to protect nature all over the planet. A few months ago, the California Natural Resources Agency published Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating California Nature Conservationresponding to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order on Nature-Based Solutions, which identified California land as a critical but underutilized sector in the fight against climate change.