Environment

Carrizo Plain Conservancy purchases first land parcel

The nascent Carrizo Plain Conservancy has recorded its first land preservation victory.

The group, which was formed in 2013, has purchased a 42-acre lot near the northeast corner of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The group plans to donate the parcel to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which manages the national monument.

Known as the Hebron property, the parcel is a private in-holding within the monument. It was purchased using a combination of grant money from the California Wildlife Foundation and funds from private donors, said San Luis Obispo resident Neil Havlik, the president of the conservancy.

Escrow will close on the property Tuesday.

The owner, who asked not to be named, was pleased to find a buyer who would protect the property in perpetuity. The property was purchased for $23,100.

The purchase price was reduced because large amounts of trash had to be removed from the property and part of the property has conservation easements on it to protect power transmission lines that run nearby.

Most of the money came from a grant from the California Wildlife Foundation, a private group that works to protect the state’s wildlife. In addition, several thousand dollars were provided by private donors, Havlik said.

“We’re gratified by the support from the property owner and by the financial support of local citizens and especially the California Wildlife Foundation, which made the project successful,” he said.

The Carrizo Plain Conservancy was formed to build on the conservation effort that was started when two large commercial-scale solar plants in California Valley offered to preserve thousands of acres of land as wildlife habitat. For more information, go to www.carrizoplainconservancy.org.

The Carrizo Plain National Monument was formed early in 2001 to protect the many rare and endangered plant and animal species found there as well as its many archaeological and historical sites. It contains nearly 250,000 acres as well as the most visible section of the San Andreas Fault.

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