The Nature Conservancy Purchases 417 Acres of Vital Grasslands in San Diego County- Wildlife Corridor and Habitat for Rare and Endangered Species Now Protected

From The Nature Conservancy


RAMONA, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nature Conservancy announced today it has purchased 417 acres of sensitive grassland habitat in San Diego County, part of the 8,000-acre Ramona Grasslands and one of the last remnants of grassland habitat in coastal Southern California. Collaboration with local partners made it possible for The Nature Conservancy to purchase the property from the William J. Cagney Trust.

The Ramona Grasslands contain numerous endangered species, such as Stephens' kangaroo rat, San Diego fairy shrimp, and arroyo southwestern toads. Recent research in the vernal pools of the Cagney property found three rare plants, including Parish's brittlescale, which was previously thought to be extinct. The property is also a critical wildlife corridor for bobcat, deer and other large mammals between Poway and the Palomar Mountains.

"San Diego County contains more biological diversity and more threatened or endangered species than any other county in the continental United States," said Mike O'Connell, The Nature Conservancy's Southern California Regional Director. "Protecting the Cagney property is a huge step forward in conserving this biologically-rich landscape," said O'Connell.

Typically flat and treeless, native grasslands have largely disappeared from the Southern California landscape due to unplanned growth. With partners such as the County of San Diego, California State Parks, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the State of California Resources Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wildlife Conservation Board, as well as local partners like the Wildlife Research Institute, the Conservation Biology Institute, and the Ramona Community Planning Group, The Nature Conservancy is working to develop and implement a conservation plan that will achieve sustainable conservation and compatible development in the area.

"This is The Nature Conservancy's first purchase in Ramona, and the first step in protecting the entire grasslands system," said O'Connell. "As we move forward, The Nature Conservancy is dedicated to working with the county, local Ramona community leaders and private landowners, and the State to create a working landscape that supports the needs of all involved."

The Nature Conservancy is an international non-profit membership organization, whose mission is to preserve plants, animals, and natural communities by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy and its more than one million members have safeguarded more than 12 million acres in all 50 states and Canada. The Conservancy has also worked with like-minded partner organizations to preserve more than 80 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Asia. In California, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than one million acres. Visit us on the Web at

SOURCE The Nature Conservancy

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos available/

/CONTACT: Julie Benson of The Nature Conservancy, +1-213-327-0379/


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