200 Acres Protected at San Marcos Foothills (CA)

SANTA BARBARA, 1/10/2007 — The Trust for Public Land (TPL), Bermant Development Company (BDC), and Santa Barbara County announced today the permanent protection of 200 acres of open space at the San Marcos Foothills. This viewshed has been the focus of local conservation efforts for over five years. It features native grasslands, coastal sage, oak woodlands, savanna, and three seasonal creeks. The property will be managed by Santa Barbara County Parks for passive recreation such as birdwatching, painting, and picnicking; and habitat protection.

“The protection of this beautiful property has been a community-driven effort – one that reflects Santa Barbara’s long standing commitment to land conservation. Because of the hard work of Supervisor Susan Rose and local community groups, and the generosity of Santa Barbara Foothills LLC, this local treasure will be enjoyed by generations to come,” said Reed Holderman, executive director of the Trust for Public Land-California.

“It is deeply satisfying to be able to finally realize the donation of 200 acres of pristine foothill land to the community in perpetuity. The landowner, my office, county staff, TPL and the community have worked hard for many years to get us to this point, and I am extremely gratified for all these efforts,” said retiring Second District Supervisor Susan Rose, who worked throughout her tenure in office to bring this project to fruition.

The 200-acre property was donated to TPL by Santa Barbara Foothills, LLC, which is managed by local developer Jeff Bermant at BDC. TPL is subsequently donating the property to the County of Santa Barbara for permanent protection.

Protection of the property marks the culmination of a multi-year community-driven effort to protect a beloved local resource.?The property has important recreational, scenic, biological, and cultural value, and will provide urban and suburban residents access to new public open space.

“We are so pleased that we could fulfill our dream of donating this land for conservation, and I really enjoyed working with TPL to make it happen. I see this as a shining example of how the development community and the environmental community can work together to protect valuable resources for the enjoyment for our local citizens. Likewise, we should all give our thanks to County Supervisor Susan Rose, because without her vision and leadership this donation would have never occurred. This will be a highlight of Susan’s legacy to our community for all time,” said Jeff Bermant, president of Bermant Development Company.

The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to preserving land of recreational, ecological, and historical value for the public. TPL works with local, state, and federal agencies and grassroots community groups to protect open space nationwide. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected more than 2 million acres nationwide. For more information, visit TPL on the web at www.tpl.org.