Nearly 4 Miles of San Luis Obispo County Coast (CA)

CAYUCOS, CA — The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today that TPL donated 355 acres or nearly four miles of pristine San Luis Obispo County coastline to the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the Cayucos Land Conservancy. State Parks will own and manage the property valued at $ 7.4 million and the Cayucos Land Conservancy will hold a conservation easement on the property. In December 1998, TPL purchased 282 acres and 73 acres along Estero Bay from two different landowners. The properties, which were once threatened with residential development, are located a half-mile west of Cayucos State Beach along scenic Highway 1 on route to the world famous Hearst Castle.

“The Trust for Public Land commends the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gabilan Foundation, state Senator Jack O’Connell, Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro (Retired), the California State Coastal Conservancy, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments and the County of San Luis Obispo for their leadership in making the protection of this amazingly beautiful stretch of California’s coast possible,” says Margaret Eadington, project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “We appreciate the enormous efforts of California State Parks, the Cayucos Land Conservancy, and the people of San Luis Obispo County for their perseverance and commitment this past year working with TPL to develop an ownership and management structure that protects the property and meets community needs.”

TPL donated fee title to California State Parks and donated a conservation easement to the Cayucos Land Conservancy. This formula was recommended to TPL by its Estero Bay Advisory Group after the group spent several months examining and ranking applications for ownership from public and private groups.

“One of the major attractions here on the Central Coast is the natural beauty of our coast and hillsides,” declared state Senator Jack O’Connell (D-San Luis Obispo). “The protection of this awesome land ensures that our precious coastline remains an unspoiled local treasure. It is a great achievement that public, private, and non-profit partners came together under the leadership of the Trust for Public Land to preserve that tradition.”

The central coast is visited by thousands of tourists each year, and Hearst Castle itself ranked number 20 on the list of the state’s most popular parks. Tourists on route to the park enjoy magnificent views of the Estero Bay property. The former property owners hoped to capitalize on the number of visitors to the area and had tried to develop the property.

“Purchasing the Estero Bay property is a surefire way to protect our gorgeous coastal scenery, safeguard local habitat, and increase recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors. I am proud to leave this legacy for our children,” says Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro (Retired) .

The Estero Bay property is a haven for hiking, birdwatching, surfing, kayaking,fishing and other passive recreational activities. The donated property contains marine terrace grassland, coastal streams, and bluffs overlooking numerous secluded sandy coves. Villa Creek and San Geronimo Creek which run through the property, provide critical habitat for a number of federally listed threatened and endangered plant and animal species including the tidewater goby, the California Red-legged frog and the southwestern pond turtle.

Funding for the purchase includes $2.5 million from the California State Coastal Conservancy, $2.2 million from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, generous donations from both the Gabilan Foundation and an anonymous donor, and a $300,000 Transportation Enhancement Activities (TEA) grant awarded to the County of San Luis Obispo from the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments.

The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit land conservation organization that works to conserve land for people as parks, gardens, playgrounds and wilderness. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected more than 1 million acres nationwide.