Ramona Grasslands Preserve. Photo: County of San Diego

SAN DIEGO–County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to buy 123 acres of open space and habitat to add to the County’s 3,490-acre Ramona Grasslands Preserve.

The preserve is part of the County’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) and includes important habitat like coastal sage scrub and oak woodlands, a large portion of Santa Maria Creek, grasslands, wetlands, vernal pools, 409 different plant species, 23 butterfly species, 21 reptile species, 37 mammals, six types of amphibians and more than 100 types of birds.

The preserve also includes trails for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians to enjoy, although not all of the preserve’s acreage is open to the public. The preserve is managed by the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Wednesday to spend roughly $950,000 to buy the land and add it to the northern portion of the preserve. Supervisor Greg Cox was absent, attending a speaking engagement with the National Association of Counties in New York.

The new 123 acres are located north of Old Survey Road and east of Bandy Canyon Road in Ramona.

The preserve stretches into both the south and north plans of the County’s MSCP. Since 1998, the County has acquired roughly 22,000 acres of open space land for the MSCP, which was created to balance habitat protection with recreation, development and agricultural activities.