Purchase of Property in Proctor Valley to Ensure Preservation of Essential Biodiversity and Wildlife

Biodiversity preservation volunteer work

The acquisition of approximately 1,291 acres of property in Proctor Valley, located in southwestern San Diego County, is a significant step towards preserving biodiversity and wildlife in the region. The collaborative efforts of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have successfully secured this property, ensuring the protection of essential habitat and preventing potential development and habitat fragmentation. This acquisition is a crucial link connecting the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve and the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing over 60,000 protected acres.

Wildlife Connectivity and Expansion of the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve

Related Posts: Eco-friendly urban planning consultations

The acquisition of the Proctor Valley property strengthens the wildlife connectivity in the region, providing ample space for wildlife to roam between the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve, and the Otay Mountain Wilderness Area. Charlton H. Bonham, the director of CDFW, emphasizes the importance of this connection, stating that it prioritizes wildlife connectivity, providing wildlife with more room to roam and thrive.

Safeguarding Southern California’s Regional Conservation Efforts

Scott Morrison, the director of conservation and science for TNC in California, highlights the significance of protecting the Proctor Valley property. This acquisition fortifies the foundation of regional conservation planning efforts in Southern California, enhancing the resiliency of previous conservation investments made in the area. This achievement is a testament to the power of collaboration and commitment within San Diego’s incredible conservation community.

The Proctor Valley property is home to threatened and endangered species and rare and highly biodiverse habitat types./© Laura Benedict, The Nature Conservancy

Preserving Rare and Endangered Species

Nearly 70% of the Proctor Valley property was initially targeted for development, which would have fragmented the rare and highly biodiverse coastal sage scrub preserve. This would have resulted in the loss of core habitat for numerous rare and endemic species such as the Quino checkerspot butterfly, the San Diego fairy shrimp, the coastal California gnatcatcher, and the golden eagle. However, with the successful acquisition of the property, these vital habitats will now be protected, ensuring the survival of these threatened and endangered species.

Establishing a Network of Core Area Reserves and Habitat Linkages

The protection of the Proctor Valley property aligns with the vision of establishing a network of connected, managed lands across Southern California. TNC, CDFW, WCB, USFWS, and other conservation partners have prioritized the protection of properties essential for establishing core area reserves and habitat linkages. These efforts are crucial for preserving biodiversity and enhancing resiliency in the face of climate change. The acquisition of the Proctor Valley property adds to the foundational San Diego County Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP), which plays a pivotal role in conservation planning in the region.

Partnerships and Funding for Conservation Success

The acquisition of the Proctor Valley property would not have been possible without the strong partnerships and public and private funding involved. The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved $30 million for the purchase, while TNC, USFWS, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also provided funding. The Department of Homeland Security contributed $25 million as part of a settlement agreement over the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Enhancing Land Protection and Habitat Connectivity

The acquisition of the Proctor Valley property strengthens land protection efforts and reduces threats to the landscape. By expanding the core area preserve and ensuring habitat connectivity, animals can move freely and adapt within the reserve-refuge conservation area. This area has been a focus of significant conservation investment over the last three decades, making it one of the most important target areas in California for the preservation of endangered and threatened species.

For more information on tree planting and conservation, visit Tips Tree Planting.

This news release was originally published by The Nature Conservancy on their website on Jan. 26, 2024.

Related Posts: Volunteer training for tree care