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Email:   i  nfo@sbmlt.net                                                                                                           San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust                                                                              501(3)(C) non-profit organization                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tax ID# 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

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Polly Sauer  
Telephone: 909-806-5284  
Email: pollysauer@sbmlt.net  

 

 

LAND TRUST BUYS ROYAL RANGERS 50-ACRE PROPERTY

Monday, February 28, 2011Today the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust announced the purchase of a 50.31-acre property adjacent to Strawberry Peak in the Twin Peaks area of the San Bernardino National Forest.  The sale, which had been in escrow since December 17, will close todayLAND TRUST BUYS ROYAL RANGERS 50-ACRE PROPERTY

 Monday, February 28, 2011

Today the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust announced the purchase of a 50.31-acre property adjacent to Strawberry Peak in the Twin Peaks area of the San Bernardino National Forest.  The sale, which had been in escrow since December 17, will close today.

The land was purchased from the Assemblies of God Church, after the church decided to withdraw plans to construct a Royal Rangers Adventure Camp at the site.

“The site has been on the list of Land Trust acquisition priorities for over ten years,” said Kevin Kellems, the Projects Manager for the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust.  “It lies within a major wildlife corridor and features critical habitat for rare species; it also forms a natural boundary between the national forest open space of Strawberry Peak and State Highway 189.”

Aware that the camp proposal was a subject of local controversy, the Land Trust sent a letter to the Assemblies of God Church in October 2009 to inquire whether there was interest in selling the property.  The church originally demurred, but later expressed interest in exploring the prospect in July 2010.

“The Assemblies of God Church proved to be a very courteous and conscientious landowner to do business with,” said Kellems.

The Land Trust will offer to re-sell the property to the Forest Service to become part of the National Forest.  “That’s the most obvious and logical use for this land, given its location and prominent public benefits,” said Bill Engs, the Land Trust President.

Engs added that, “the Land Trust cannot hold onto the property –our role is to facilitate key acquisitions by the Forest Service that improve the overall management and benefits of the National Forest.”  He also explained that “the officers of the Land Trust are custodians of a revolving acquisition fund.  That money needs to come back to us and be recycled into other projects so it can achieve on-going maximum effectiveness.”

Congress has a specially authorized fund, derived from offshore oil royalties, that is specifically dedicated to the purchase of lands within the boundaries of our National Parks and Forests.  It is called the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  LWCF has been in use since 1965 and has funded many land purchases in the San Bernardino National Forest, which is one of the most heavily-used of all public lands in the country.