August 18, 2007
The U.S. Forest Service and The Trust for Public Land announced the acquisition of four Rancho Calera parcels totaling 460 acres, linking national forest lands along the Big Sur coast to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District’s Mill Creek Preserve and the Ventana Wilderness.
The purchase creates a 10-mile open space corridor from the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains to the ocean 15 miles south of Carmel.
The acquisition is seen as a step in protecting the Big Sur coastline and creating trail linkages to allow hiking “from coast to crest.” The land will become part of the Los Padres National Forest.
“The acquisition of these four key parcels will help improve public access, protect natural resources and open space, and ensure long-term habitat linkages,” said John Bradford, district ranger for the Monterey Ranger District, Los Padres National Forest.
Rancho Calera is part of the Sierra Creek watershed, supporting threatened steelhead populations. The creek feeds directly into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Condors roost on the property and bobcat are also present, said TPL. The presence of mountain lion, considered an umbrella species, indicates the likelihood of other species that are critical to the health of the Big Sur ecosystem.
The USFS acquired four of the nine parcels that comprise the 1,100-acre Rancho Calera.
Funding for the acquisitions was provided by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Source: The Trust for Public Land.