Grant Will Help Preserve Plant Habitat (CA)
A $500,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the California Department of Fish and Game will help protect 32 acres in Los Osos that supports some of the last dense and undisturbed groves of Morro manzanita. This federally endangered species has been nearly eliminated by urbanization around Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. The property is also a critical parcel in the Morro Bay Dunes Greenbelt, a community initiated effort to create a 1,000-acre habitat corridor between Montana de Oro State Park and Morro Bay State Park.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA 10/22/02 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, announced that a $500,000 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 a federally-listed threatened species.
The money will go toward buying 32 acres in Los Osos that supports some of the last remaining dense and undisturbed groves of Morro manzanita, a plant protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The urbanization around Morro Bay and the San Luis Obispo area has eliminated the plant from most of the places where it grew in the past.
The property is also a critical parcel in the Morro Bay Dunes Greenbelt, a community initiated effort to create a 1,000-acre habitat corridor between Montana de Oro State Park and Morro Bay State Park.
The grant was awarded by the FWS through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund Recovery Land Acquisition grant program, authorized by the federal Endangered Species Act. This program provides federal money for conservation efforts to help states protect habitat needed for threatened and endangered species.
“The plant and animal wildlife in SLO County include some of this country’s most precious and vulnerable,” said Congresswoman Lois Capps D-Calif. “I’m proud to announce these important grants to help sustain fragile and endangered species that are critical to the vitality of our wilderness here on the Central Coast.”
“TPL is thankful to Congresswoman Capps for her leadership in securing this important funding toward the purchase of this wonderful property. It is the first step toward the long-term public protection of this vital wildlife habitat,” said Margaret Eadington, Central Coast Program Director of the Trust for Public Land.
Creation of the Greenbelt is a partnership effort between local, state, and federal agencies including the Morro Estuary Greenbelt Alliance, the Morro Bay National Estuary Program, the CA Dept. of Fish & Game, the CA Wildlife Conservation Board, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation, the CA State Coastal Conservancy and the US Bureau of Land Management.
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. In San Luis Obispo County, TPL has helped complete the protection of more than 260 acres of the proposed 1,000-acre greenbelt. In addition, TPL helped to create Estero Bay State Park just north of Cambria. Across the nation, TPL has helped protect more than 1.4 million acres.