Grant To Protect Santa Cruz Habitat (CA)

SANTA CRUZ, CA, 8/11/2003 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, has announced that a $540,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will help protect land to aid in the recovery of federally protected species in Santa Cruz.

The money will help purchase the 289-acre Buena Vista property, which is home to the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, an amphibian protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The property is one of the last undeveloped areas of chaparral and coastal woodlands on the west side of U.S. Highway 1. The land is also home to several threatened plants, including the robust spineflower, Hooker’s manzanita, and Kellogg’s horkelia.

TPL has been working with Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., the California DFG, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other partners on the project. The goal is to permanently protect the entire 289-acre property.

The grant was awarded through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund Recovery Land Acquisition Program, which is part of the Endangered Species Act. This program provides federal money for conservation efforts on non-federal lands, helping states protect key habitat

“The 17th District is home to many vulnerable species and plants, and the Trust for Public Land has been invaluable in helping to protect these natural resources,” said Rep. Farr. “I support the efforts to protect the Santa Cruz long-toed salamander and, indeed, all the animals protected under the ESA.

“We are very grateful to Representative Sam Farr for his support of this great project,” said Reed Holderman, Regional Director for Trust for Public Land. “This grant is instrumental in continuing our work to protect this important habitat land and we can’t thank our partners enough for helping to see this conservation effort through.”

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Across the nation, TPL has helped protect more than 1.4 million acres. In California, TPL has protected more than 220,000 acres.