SACRAMENTO — The largest undeveloped private property in Los Angeles County is now part of an ecologically protected area that will preserve habitat and expand wildlife corridors between the San Gabriel, Sierra Madre and Santa Susanna mountains. It also brings California one step closer to its efforts to conserve 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030, often referred to as the 30×30 initiative.
The Hathaway/Temescal Ranch property, 6,006 acres of open space, is 40 miles west of downtown Los Angeles and adjacent to both Angeles National Forest and Los Angeles National Forest. Padres between Castaic Reservoir and Lake Piru.
“It’s a big deal,” California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said. “This acquisition will help preserve biodiversity, expand access to the outdoors for Angelenos, and sequester carbon as we fight climate change. This is exactly the kind of creative, purposeful action that drives our 30×30 movement across California.
Hathaway/Temescal Ranch is land that has been used for ranching and grazing, but other than a modest ranch, it is undeveloped. The property includes wetlands, hills and is in the flight path of condors from the nearby Sespe Condor Sanctuary.
“In the Southern California landscape, the securing of 6,000 acres is extraordinary, especially 6,000 acres that provide a prime connection between protected areas and major water resources,” said George Lange, chairman of the board. administration of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). “The MRCA will continue to work with federal, state and local governments, our nonprofit partners and landowners to preserve and protect open spaces critical to the public good.”
The property was acquired in three phases by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land and transferred to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a local government agency exercising joint powers of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the recreation and park districts. of Conejo and Rancho Simi.
“After nearly three decades, it is incredible to finally be able to celebrate the protection of Temescal Ranch, one of the largest contiguous tracts of land ever preserved in Los Angeles County, which will not only bring together an extensive network of hiking trails and home bike lanes for Los Angeles residents, but will protect some of California’s most unique coastal sage and chaparral scrub ecosystems,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Executive and Vice President of the Pacific Region for the Public Lands Trust.” We are proud to have worked with our dedicated partners at the MRCA and grateful for the support of our private donors and public funders to ensure continued access to this unique landscape. and magnificent.”
The California Wildlife Conservation Board played a key role in acquiring the land and funded nearly half of the purchase, including $3.5 million in voter-approved Proposition 117 funds to secure the endgame. .
The property is in an “Important Ecological Area” designated by Los Angeles County. It helps create a critical east-west link between the San Gabriel and Sierra Madre mountains as well as a north-south link between the Sierra Madre and Santa Susanna mountains, both highlighted in the South Coast Missing Links Project, which is a comprehensive plan for a regional network that would maintain and restore critical habitat links between existing reserves. These connections form the backbone of a conservation strategy for Southern California.
The acquisition is another step toward California’s 30×30 conservation goals. This commitment is part of an international movement to protect nature across the planet, which now includes 90 countries that have adopted 30×30 objectives.
In April, the California Natural Resources Agency released Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating California Nature Conservationresponding to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order on Nature-Based Solutions, which identified California land as a critical but underutilized sector in the fight against climate change.
Paths to 30×30 outlines a roadmap, including land purchases such as the Hathaway/Temescal Ranch property, to achieve the state’s first 30×30 land conservation goal. To date, California has retained 24% of its land and 16% of its coastal waters. To reach 30% by 2030, the state strategy outlines several simultaneous paths, including accelerating regionally led conservation, purchasing strategic land for conservation and access, expanding voluntary conservation easements and alignment of investments to maximize conservation benefits. Empowering local and regional partners is key to achieving this goal, and the strategy establishes a 30×30 partnership to organize this coordination and collaboration.
Scientists around the world agree that conserving one-third of the planet by 2030 is necessary to combat climate change, protect people from climate impacts, and limit the mass extinction of plant and animal life. It also represents a historic opportunity to strengthen the human connection with nature, especially for communities that have never had access to it, including those in populated counties such as Los Angeles.