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San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust
Nonprofit Organization 501(C)(3)
Tax ID # 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

SBMLT in the News

Press Coverage

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Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:00 am

It’s an area that 24 years ago was public land. It was then slated for development, with a number of homes on the drawing board.

When what is now called Arrowhead Ridge—but was being developed as Eagle Ridge—fell into foreclosure, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust was able to acquire 78 acres off Grass Valley Road.

The Land Trust “rescues” land; it does not retain or manage property. It either sells eligible land to the Forest Service or finds an appropriate buyer.

Because this property is not contiguous with the San Bernardino National Forest, it cannot be sold to the Forest Service. The Land Trust has an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District, which hopes to be able to purchase the land and operate it as a nature park.

The Land Trust held an event last weekend on the property, an event intended to introduce the land to community members.

“This is the best example of a Southern Sierra forest in this mountain range,” Peter Jorris, the Land Trust’s executive director, told a group of people who had been taken to the top of the ridge on OHVs. Because the ridge runs north and south—as opposed to the east-west orientation of most of the San Bernardino Mountains—it gets a greater diversity of trees, Jorris said.

The Land Trust, he noted, is working on several projects on the ridge including restoring the paved roads to trails and restoring a stream. They hope to build an observation deck and a gazebo, Jorris said.

The idea of the Walk the Ridge event, held last Saturday, was “to invite the community to the property and invite ideas,” Jorris said.

Despite the surprise showers that fell, about 300 people turned out for the event. In addition to visiting the upper reaches of the property, they were treated to vocal and piano music, as well as to excerpts from several Shakespeare plays.

Jorris said an amphitheater is also in the talking stages for Arrowhead Ridge.

Guests were also able to watch several artists at work as they painted scenes on the large cement manholes that were left on the property. Designs included a squirrel peering out of the “stump” that had been created from the concrete and several evoking the Native American culture that was once prevalent on the mountain.

The Land Trust invited donations to the Restore Arrowhead Ridge Campaign, noting “your gift can make a lasting difference to help restore and preserve the beautiful and last remaining large forest open space in Lake Arrowhead.”

Landscape architect Scott Peterson was present with conceptual drawings of what the Land Trust hopes to achieve in the future.

One thing that has already been accomplished is the creation of the 1.8-mile Will Abell trail. Mary Barlow of the Mountaintop Hiking Club led a group of 22 on a hike at the event’s conclusion.