San Luis Obispo Land Trust Saves Over 1000 Acres of Wildlife Habitat
From September 2008 Newsletter:
In two separate but related transactions, permanent protection of over 1,000 acres of critical open space surrounding the City of San Luis Obispo will be in place by the end of the year.
Stenner Ranch—Preserving 838 Acres of a Working Cattle Ranch
Through our partnership with Camp San Luis Obispo and the City of San Luis Obispo, we
secured $350,000 for the preservation of Stenner Ranch. The project is the second successful transaction made possible by the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program and has helped secure an additional $350,000 for another similar conservation deal in 2009. By the end of next year, Camp San Luis Obispo will have provided over $1million to SLO Greenbelt acquisitions near the base, making it one of the largest donors to this land protection effort. Stenner Ranch is adjacent to the 315-acre Stenner Springs property which we protected through the same partnership in 2006. We’re thrilled to celebrate the permanent protection of the entire Upper Stenner Creek watershed which is also contiguous with Los Padres
National Forest and Cal Poly ranch lands. Stenner Ranch will remain in agriculture and is privately owned property.
Bowden Ranch—Stewarding 180 Acres of Open Space
We will also happily accept a conservation easement for the Bowden Ranch so that the City of SLO can acquire full ownership of the property. Bowden Ranch Open Space is open to the public and is a popular hiking destination. Check it out for yourself by hiking up the trail on “High School Hill”. The trailhead is at the top of Lizzie Street off Johnson Avenue. From the top, hikers can see Point Sal, Morro Bay, Avila Beach, the City of SLO, Edna Valley and the Santa Lucia Range.
Both projects are considered top conservation priorities because they incorporate multiple conservation values. The Stenner Ranch project will protect the headwaters of Stenner Creek, preserve working agricultural lands, and connect with existing wild lands in public ownership. The Bowden Ranch project preserves both the unique scenic quality and biological diversity of important grasslands, protects rare plants endemic to serpentine soils, and conserves a natural artesian spring that is part of the same watershed that feeds San Luis Obispo Creek.
Many thanks to the City of San Luis Obispo’s Natural Resource Protection Program for its continued commitment to conserving Greenbelt open space and to Camp San Luis Obispo - National Guard Bureau for providing funding and serving as a model for successful collaborative conservation projects.