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Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors



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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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143 Acres of Pristine Santa Barbara County Coastal Dunes Conserved


3/17/2008

http://LCSLO.org

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County is overwhelmingly excited to announce the permanent conservation of 143 acres of prime coastal dunes just north of Point Sal. The Dunes Collaborative has found the Point Sal and Paradise Beach area to be one of the highest priorities for land conservation initiatives in the entire Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex. After more than a year of work, the transaction was successfully completed just in time to celebrate the preservation of more “green” this St. Patrick’s Day.

The property includes roughly a ½-mile stretch of the white sands of Paradise Beach and several tidepool areas tucked into small, protected coves. According to the Point Sal Reserve Management Area Plan prepared by the firm of Storrer & Semonsen (c. 1990), other natural resources include thriving coastal dune and bluff scrub habitat, freshwater seeps, a marine mammal haul-out area, and several populations of endangered Surf Thistle (Cirsium rothophilum). The upland area of the property is described as a critical wildlife area that contains important habitat for mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, and deer.

“This is one of the most pristine and beautiful beaches I have ever been to in my life. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to protect it forever.” - Bob Hill, Conservation Director

This spectacular site provides stunning 360-degree views of ocean and dunes, and is an unspoiled example of what our native coastline looked like long ago. This area also held a special appeal to Don and Irene Gragnani who experienced its magic for many years but sold it for the purpose of continued conservation. The Gragnani’s regularly visited the property for picnic lunches and camping expeditions, and they are pleased to know that it will be maintained as a protected natural area for others to enjoy as well.

Project partners included the State Coastal Conservancy, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Dunes Collaborative, The Nature Conservancy, and Santa Barbara County Parks. The purchase was approved by The State Coastal Conservancy Board in January and The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board in February. Santa Barbara County Parks has expressed a strong interest in the long-term ownership and management of the property as they are already adjacent landowners.

The project is representative of The Land Conservancy’s ongoing commitment to protecting, restoring, and stewarding the unique and fragile ecosystem that makes up the world class Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes through collaborative efforts with our many partners.

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