Milestone reached in Carmel River Conservation Project

The Trust for Public Land has completed the purchase of land on the Carmel River that will return badly needed summer flows to the river and give the public better access to Palo Corona Regional Park.

The purchase involves a 50 acre property underlying a portion of the former Rancho Cañada Golf Club. It is the second of two properties involved in a conservation deal first announced in April 2016 by The Trust for Public Land, Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, Santa Lucia Conservancy and Trout Unlimited.

The Trust for Public Land first purchased a 140 acre property from the Hatton family in June 2016. The additional acreage was owned by the Lombardo family, and includes the remainder of Rancho Cañada’s East Course as well as over a half- mile of the Carmel River and 40 acres of valuable floodplain habitat including numerous native cottonwood and sycamore trees.

This conservation project is not associated with the Rancho Cañada Village housing development that is planned for an adjacent property underlying Rancho Cañada’s West Course.

The partners have secured more than $7 million in public and private commitments toward an $11 million fundraising goal. Initial financing was provided by a loan from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Once the fundraising goal is met, the property will be turned over to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. The District plans to use the land to create new public access to Palo Corona Regional Park, permanently dedicate water to the Carmel River, and restore that reach of the river and its floodplain.

The California State Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Natural Resources, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California American Water Company, Santa Lucia Conservancy, Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are providing funds for the project.

While no longer being used as a golf course, the properties remain under lease to the Rancho Cañada de la Segunda golf company through the end of 2017 and cannot be opened to the public until the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District takes over management of the land.

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