Wildlife Conservation Board Approves Purchase of 90 Acres in Southwest Riverside County
Another 90 acres! Progress continues to acquire reserve lands for the 500,000-acre Western Riverside County MSHCP. Last month, the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved the purchase of 90 acres of land in southwest Riverside County, providing much needed land for the Tenaja Corridor to the Santa Rosa Plateau and the Cleveland National Forest.
The WCB authorized purchase of three properties to help with Mountain Lion linkages and habitat conservation. The lands are located within the Santa Margarita Watershed, where the water drains into the Santa Margarita River. Funding is provided by U.S. Fish Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game 2017 non-traditional Section 6 grants. The grant’s goal is to support Habitat Conservation Plans. The RCA was allocated approximately $800,000 complete the following three land purchases to protect vital habitat.
KS California Property – This 20-acre property is located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains, next to the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. Most of the land is in steep rural mountain terrain with coastal sage scrub and chaparral. The land will provide linkages to Mountain Lion and Bobcat populations. Engelman Oak and Coastal California Gnatcatcher are two of the species protected on this land.
Lafleur Property– Similar to the KS California property, this 20-acre parcel is also located within steep terrain that provides suitable habitat for several MSHCP covered species, including the Southern California Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Bell’s Sage Sparrow.
Schumacher Property– The Schumacher property is the largest at 52 acres. Located six miles from the southwestern Murrieta city limits, the parcel is surrounded by low-density residential development. Due to its close proximity to development, this land is vital to maintaining habitat connectivity for species in this region.