Coalition Unites for Land Preservation, First Acquisition Made

After five and a half years of hard work, collaboration, and persistence, the first land acquisition has occurred inOrangeCountybecause of the partnership between conservation and community groups with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Resource Agencies.  In 2005, the environmental community began negotiating with OCTA to include a comprehensive mitigation program in its next transportation measure (Renewed Measure M).  Understanding the benefits of streamlined permitting, support by the environmental community, and taking a landscape-level approach to habitat conservation, OCTA wholly supported the mitigation concept.  The Measure passed in 2006 with the support of more than 30 conservation groups, including the Planning and Conservation League.  With five percent of the freeway program dedicated to natural land preservation, restoration, and management, the first of what will certainly be many acquisitions just closed.  Through a science-based process, OCTA acquired the 86 acre Saddle Creek South property inTrabucoCanyonbecause of its important habitat qualities and wildlife corridor connections.  Congratulations to the regional non-profit Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks for spearheading this cohesive effort, the Resource Agencies, landowners and especially OCTA for its leadership.