636 Acres Added to San Dieguito River Park (CA)

San Diego, CA, 1/13/05 -The Trust for Public Land (TPL), and the San Dieguito River Park, a local government agency, announced today the purchase and protection of two properties totaling 636 acres along the San Dieguito River Parkway. In two separate transactions, TPL purchased the 249-acre Newton and the 387-acre Habib properties and conveyed them to the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority for permanent protection. The properties are located east of Lake Sutherland, north of Highway 78. The parcels are key components of the planned Coast to Crest Trail, which will span 55 miles from the headwaters at Volcan Mountain in eastern San Diego County to the coast at Del Mar.

The newly protected properties form a strategic link between properties already publicly protected along an 80,000-acre east-west River Park Planning Area, that is 70 percent in public ownership. In July, TPL and the San Dieguito River Park completed the purchase and protection of the 73-acre Boudreau property also along the River Park.

“After years of planning and purchasing properties to make the San Dieguito River Park a reality, we are finally acquiring crucial linkage properties. The purchase of these properties closes an important gap in the 55-mile-long river habitat corridor,” said Dick Bobertz, executive director of the San Dieguito River Park.

“Our conservation work along the San Dieguito River could not be implemented without the incredible partnerships we have formed with the San Dieguito River Park, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Board and generous private support from the San Diego Women’s Foundation.” said Reed Holderman, executive director of the Trust for Public Land-California. “We are continuing our work along the River Park and expect to complete additional purchases during each of the next few years as well.”

Funds for the purchase came from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, through a Proposition 13 grant, and the County of San Diego. In addition, the San Diego’s Women’s Foundation granted TPL $50,000 for conservation work in San Diego County.

“The purchase of this land for the San Dieguito River Park is another step forward in protecting San Diego’s precious natural resources for the future,” said Al Wright, executive director of the California Wildlife Conservation Board.

The Trust for Public Land recently completed its 10-year effort to protect 13,068 acres at Rutherford Ranch, including the historic San Felipe Valley, the ridgeline of 5,575-foot Volcan Mountain, and the headwaters of the San Dieguito River that anchor the park at the eastern end. Most recently, TPL protected 73 acres along the San Dieguito River Park directly adjacent to the San Dieguito Wetland Restoration Project, connecting the San Dieguito Lagoon wetlands to public lands upstream.

“The San Diego Women’s Foundation supports the land conservation efforts of the Trust for Public Land because they have a long history of producing results and protecting the land we love for ourselves and future generations,” said Julie Dubick, president of the San Diego Women’s Foundation.

The San Dieguito River Park, known officially as the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority, was formed in 1989 to create a natural open space park in the San Dieguito River Valley. The agency was formed by the County of San Diego with the cities of Del Mar, Escondido, Poway, San Diego and Solana Beach to acquire, plan, design, improve, operate and maintain the San Dieguito River Park.

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. Since it’s founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than 2 million acres valued at more than $3.8 billion nationwide. In San Diego County, TPL has protected more than 29,000 acres since 1985.

Posted 1/2005