227 Acres in Santa Monica Mountains Permanently Protected

The Trust for Public Land and the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) today announced the permanent protection of 227 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains through two newly acquired properties. One property, known as Carbon Canyon, will protect views of the Pacific Ocean from the mountains and Highway One while also making the community more resilient to wildfire by protecting and restoring native chaparral habitat. This property is also an important piece of the Coastal Slope Trail (CST), a 70-mile recreational trail network stretching from Topanga State Park to Point Mugu State Park. Once completed, the trail will link the network of public lands for a seamless recreational experience across the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA), from Los Angeles to Ventura County.  


Both properties were protected thanks to the exceptional partnership between MRCA and The Trust for Public Land, wherein The Trust for Public Land works to acquire, protect and subsequently convey the lands to MRCA who agrees to manage the sites for open space, habitat restoration and public access uses.  


The second property, known as Mulholland Headwaters, contains the headwaters to the Arroyo Sequit, critical habitat for Southern California steelhead and numerous other species. Situated adjacent to Leo Carillo State Park and just below the Backbone trail, the property also offers sweeping vistas to hikers on the 67-mile trail that connects urban Los Angeles to the Pacific coast, traversing the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains. Leo Carillo 


“These projects are representative of the multi-benefit conservation work The Trust for Public Land is proud to do in Southern California. By mitigating wildfire risk, ensuring the community’s world-class views are protected, and expanding the CST – we’re working to protect land that will truly be invaluable to the community. This would not have been possible without the support of our public agency and non-profit partners and we’re eternally grateful for their partnership”, stated Alex Size, Southern California Land Protection Director for The Trust for Public Land.  


The CST has been in development since 1980, when it first appeared in the Los Angeles County General Plan. Taking advantage of over 15 existing public land management units, the CST links state, federal, and regional parks and open space. The Carbon Canyon property has been viewed as  a key linkage in the trail alignment since at least 2007. Adjacent to the existing Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s Mellone property, the project facilitates trail development in the hills behind Malibu while preventing rural estate development on sensitive chaparral slopes. 


Both the Carbon Canyon and Mulholland Headwaters properties contain significant stands of chaparral and chaparral forest, characteristic of the Santa Monica Mountains, that support a wide variety of plant and wildlife species, while also providing an important buffer for homes in the case of wildfires. The Trust for Public Land is working across Southern California to conserve land that protects communities from wildfires, including the recently protected Hanning Flat property located in Kern County.  


“These two important acquisitions add to The Trust for Public Land’s growing list of conservation and public access work in the Santa Monica Mountains. Working with local, state and federal agencies and partners, we have helped protect over 3,000 acers since our first project, Los Liones, which added 600 acres to expand Topanga State Park in December of 1974,” added Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director for The Trust for Public Land.  

The Carbon Canyon acquisition was funded through the California Natural Resources Agency’s Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation program, the State Coastal Conservancy’s Santa Monica Bay Restoration program, Los Angeles County, and donor-directed contributions. The Mulholland Headwaters Project was funded by the California Coastal Conservancy program and Los Angeles County’s Prop A program. 


About The Trust for Public Land 


The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.