By SDCN Staff
San Diego, CA–In line with its goals to preserve open space and protect plants and animals, the City of San Diego recently acquired 25 acres of land that has been added to the preserved wildlife areas within Mission Trails Regional Park.
The sale comes as part of the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) and will help protect the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub and some native grassland habitats on the land. City staff also believe there is a high potential the federally endangered California Gnatcatcher bird is present on the property.
“The conservation of this property contributes to a critical network of habitat and open space that protects plants, animals, and ecosystems that ultimately improve our quality of life,” said the City’s Planning Director Heidi Vonblum. “It is our responsibility to protect this land not only for us but for the generations that come after us.”
The land, part of the East Elliot Community Planning Area, is located just west of Santee, north of Mast Boulevard, and east of Republic Services Sycamore Landfill. The city bought the land from a private seller with money from the Habitat Acquisition Fund, which is used to purchase land identified and targeted for conservation.
As a regional conservation effort, the MSCP spans a 900-square-mile area in southwestern San Diego County and several jurisdictions participate in the program, including the City of San Diego. The city developed its own specific plan for the MSCP, called a Subarea Plan, which the City Council adopted in 1997. The MSCP Subarea Plan identified 52,727 acres of land deemed essential for the continued conservation of San Diego’s unique biodiversity.
With this recent purchase, the city has now conserved approximately 98% of that land, which will ensure the long-term protection of the 85 plants and animals covered by the MSCP.