Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

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

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Land deal to expand Morgan Territory Preserve in East S.F. Bay

2/3/2009--The East Bay Regional Park District is buying 153 acres of hilly grasslands and oak forests to expand the Morgan Territory Preserve in the park system's first joint purchase with the new East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy. The regional park board agreed Tuesday to pay $803,900 to buy the land along Marsh Creek and on the east side of Mount Diablo from Karl and Alfred Schwartz, whose family has grazed cattle there for a century…

The new East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy was set up by several local governments to administer a "Habitat Conservation Plan" which has as its goal "to protect natural resources in eastern Contra Costa County, while improving and streamlining the environmental permitting process for impacts on endangered species." ie.--issuing permits to develop wildlife habitat in exchange for preservation of other habitats.

(Editor's note: the devil is in the details. HCP's often encourage development of more accessible areas of habitat while saving steep mountainsides and other fire-prone or otherwise undevelopable areas.)

"The Plan was developed by a team of scientists and planners with input from independent panels of science reviewers and stakeholders. Within the 174,018 acre inventory area, the Plan will provide permits for between 8,670 and 11,853 acres of development and will permit impacts on an additional 1,126 acres from rural infrastructure projects. The Preserve System to be acquired under the Plan will encompass 23,800 to 30,300 acres of land that will be managed for the benefit of 28 species as well as the natural communities that they, and hundreds of other species, depend upon."

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