Conservancy approved five grants, totaling $1,135,000, for restoration,
access improvement, and interpretive programs along rivers and creeks
in the Russian River region of Sonoma County. The funds, approved
by the Conservancy in December 2005 and February 2006, will help
an effort to transform a stretch of Santa Rosa Creek from a concrete
channel into the healthy stream it once was; expand stewardship programs
at a park near Jenner; build trails, picnic areas, and other visitor
facilities at two parks along the Russian River; and restore habitat
along that river's largest tributary, Laguna de Santa Rosa.
Ranch Land near Mount Diablo to Be Protected
The Conservancy will help the nonprofit Save Mount Diablo to buy
208 acres of the 233-acre Mangini Ranch, in the foothills of Mount
Diablo. The ranch has a variety of woodlands, open grasslands,
canyons, and an 1,100-foot ridge with views across San Pablo and
Suisun Bays. Home to such rare plants and animals as desert olive
scrub and the Alameda whipsnake, the property adjoins the Lime
Ridge Open Space and is about half a mile from Mount Diablo State
New trails will extend the Lime Ridge Ridgeline Trail and the
California State Riding and Hiking Trail farther south, and Save
Mount Diablo will offer guided hikes until a long-term management
plan is developed. The group plans eventually to transfer the land
to either California State Parks or the City of Concord.
The Mangini family, which has owned the ranch since the 1880s,
agreed last year to sell the land to Save Mount Diablo, which has
already raised most of its $555,000 share of the $1,455,000 purchase
price; the Conservancy will provide $900,000. The family will retain
25 acres, and a neighbor will continue grazing cattle on the property,
except in sensitive areas.
Santa Cruz Right-of-Way for Rail and Trail
More Than 30 miles of railroad right-of-way along the Santa Cruz
coast is being set aside for possible development as a passenger
rail and trail corridor. The county's Regional Transportation Commission
intends to buy the Santa Cruz County Branch Rail Line with the
help of a $10 million loan approved by the Conservancy in December
2005, to be reimbursed when promised state funds become available.
From Nike to Nature
The 102-acre White Point Nature Preserve, opened to the public
in 2003, sits along seabluffs in the Los Angeles community of San
Pedro. Before World War II, a mineral springs resort serving Japanese
Americans was on the shore below. After California residents of
Japanese descent were imprisoned in relocation camps, the military
took control of the land. It was later released to the City and
opened to the public as a park and reserve. In February the Conservancy
approved $100,000 to be used with $205,000 in City funding for
creating an interpretive center and environmental classroom in
a building that had been used for Nike missile assembly and testing.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, which manages the
preserve for the City, will renovate and convert the building.
Exhibits will depict the land's use by the Gabrielino Indians,
immigrant Japanese abalone fishermen and farmers, and the military.
Native plants will be brought back and trail improvements will
include a wheelchair-accessible pathway.