As expected, the California Wildlife Conservation Board on Thursday approved the final $4 million contribution to complete the purchase of the 900-acre Pismo Preserve.
With this final state contribution, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has all the money it needs to purchase the property immediately behind Pismo Beach and Shell Beach. Escrow is expected to close in early September.
The group is still trying to raise about $15,000 that will be spent on a parking lot and other amenities needed to open the property to the public next year, said Kaila Dettman, Land Conservancy executive director. On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved a crucial $400,000 that was needed for the purchase.
In recommending the $4 million allocation, Wildlife Conservation Board staff said the money would be well spent because the native grasslands, oak woodlands, coastal scrub and wildlife corridors found on the undeveloped ranch “allow for the acquisition of habitat to prevent habitat fragmentation, and to protect significant natural landscapes and ecosystems and other significant habitat areas.”
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“They were excited to say yes,” Dettman said.