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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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Media Contacts:

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

 

 

Land Trust transfers 826 acres to Cleveland National Forest

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

LAKE ARROWHEAD – The San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust announced today the transfer of two parcels of private land, totaling 826 acres, to Cleveland National Forest.

The transfer was completed due to the work of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who secured a $3 million appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a 45-year-old federal program which assists the National Forest Service and other government agencies in acquiring land and easements. 

This is the first time that an appropriation from the conservation fund has been used in the Santa Ana Mountains. 

“This has been a team effort between the land trust, Sen. Feinstein’s office, the Wildlands Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land and the forest service,” said Peter Jorris, executive director of the San Bernardino Mountain Land Trust. “We have also had excellent support from the Santa Ana Mountains Task Force and other recreational groups.”

The 826 acres are part of a larger conservation campaign, known as Save the Saints, to fill in missing pieces of national forest land in Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire and Orange County. The campaign derives its name from the tall mountain peaks named in Spanish for Catholic saints – the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and Santa Ana mountains – which surround the greater Los Angeles basin.

Two separate parcels were part of the transfer. The first, called Yaeger Mesa, encompasses 186 acres and was an old mining claim filed in the late nineteenth century.  Yaeger Mesa sits above Trabuco Canyon in one of the most scenic and popular areas of Cleveland National Forest.  It took seven years to complete the transfer.

 “The mesa is an idyllic fern-covered meadow surrounded by a thick stand of conifer forest, a unique and scenic spot in these popular mountains,” said Debra Clarke, trails manager for Cleveland National Forest.

The second parcel - known as Eagle Canyon and totaling 640 acres - is adjacent to the city of Corona and will assist the forest service with fire protection. The parcel provides habitat for golden eagle nesting sites and contains two streams feeding into the municipal water supply.

The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund was enacted in 1965 and provides funding for the acquisition of private land within national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Management areas. Government royalties from offshore gas and oil leases are used to fund the program. Each year, a percentage of the revenue generated from this source is used to conserve land for recreation and open space.

About San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust:

Founded in 1996, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust is dedicated to the acquisition and protection of open space and wildlife habitat primarily within the San Bernardino National Forest. The land trust has protected more than 9,000 acres of land in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests.

About the Save the Saints Campaign:

The three national forests in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and Santa Ana mountains are the most heavily-used public lands in the nation. Two-thirds of all Californians live within a two-hour drive of these popular public lands. 

The San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust and Wildlands Conservancy, in Oak Glen, have partnered to protect undeveloped land holdings in the mountains before they are lost to urbanization.

More information: www.wildlandsconservancy.org/projects_saints.html.

Contact:

Peter Jorris, executive director, San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust, 

(909) 867-3536, pjorris@verizon.net

Debra Clarke, trails manager, Cleveland National Forest,

(951) 736-1811, ext. 3227 

640-acre Eagle Canyon property above Corona, recently added to the Cleveland National Forest 

Debra Clarke of USFS and Peter Jorris of the SB Mtns Land Trust at Yaeger Mesa

Overview of Yaeger Mesa in the distance