Property Adjacent the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern California Permanently Protected

The property is also critical habitat for imperiled species

December 17, 2020
Los Angeles, CA

The Trust for Public Land today announced the permanent protection of nearly 70 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains. The newly protected property, known as Robin’s Nest II, adds to previous Trust for Public Land work to bridge a gap adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail. It also preserves over a half-mile of the Santa Clara River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California which provides drinking water for the region. The property provides critical habitat for imperiled species such as the arroyo toad and unarmored threespine stickleback. 

“By protecting this property we’re meeting a triple bottom line: preserving a critical source of fresh water, protecting habitat for unique species, and creating opportunities for outdoor recreation which is a significant economic driver for this region,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director, for The Trust for Public Land, “During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen just how easy access to the outdoors is vital for social and physical well-being, and this project will help expand access to one of the West’s most storied trails. We’re proud to have partnered with San Fernando Valley Audubon, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and the Pacific Crest Trail Association to make this project a reality.” 

The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the most famous long-distance hiking trails in the world, and this project secures access to the trail and protects surrounding views. The land was at risk of development. If The Trust for Public Land had not stepped in, the experience of PCT hikers in the area would have been diminished. According to the Pacific Crest Trail Association, hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world hike on the trail each year. 

“More than 50 years after Congress designated it as a National Scenic Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail still is not fully protected,” said Megan Wargo, Director of Land Protection for the PCTA. “Ten percent of the trail remains on private property. By protecting land like this within the PCT corridor, we can complete the trail as Congress intended, secure healthy landscapes for recreation and wildlife, and provide clean air and water to our towns and cities.” 

This newly protected land is part of a truly unique ecosystem. It includes both riparian forest and desert habitat, showcasing Southern California’s ecological diversity. Governor Newsom recently signed an executive order committing to protect 30% of California’s lands and waters by 2030, highlighting the importance of conservation projects such as this one for the well-being of the state. 

The Robin’s Nest II property will be owned and managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), which will work to expand public access across the property while also protecting the unique habitat for local birds and wildlife. 

"This property fills in a substantial land protection gap between the MRCA’s downstream Stickleback Ranch and upstream Robins Nest I properties,” said Paul Edleman, Chief of Natural Resources and Planning for the MRCA and Deputy Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, “Together they harbor a rare extended reach of river with clear flowing perennial water and native fish species.” 

Paula Orlovich, San Fernando Valley Audubon President, added: “The conservation of wildlife is key to our mission as an Audubon chapter. While our emphasis is on birds, no part of any natural ecosystem can be looked at in isolation—it’s all connected. Robin’s Nest is a vital, year-round riparian habitat. TPL impressed our Board greatly with its dedication and energy. MRCA is one of the Los Angeles area’s most active stewards of precious wildlands. We are pleased to have aided in the acquisition and restoration of this important link in a chain of open spaces, which has, incidentally, turned out to be an excellent place to go birdwatching!” 

The protection of this property was made possible by a generous grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board of $630,000. A generous gift of $250,000 from San Fernando Audubon helped make this project a reality. 

  

About the Trust for Public Land 

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org