News Release


DATE: February 17, 1999

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108


Jacob Secures Supes Support Of Federal Legislation

San Diego, CA - The Board of Supervisors today lent their support to H.R. 15, the Otay Mountain Wilderness Act of 1999. The action came in response to a request by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who asked the Board to support the legislation authored by Congressman Brian Bilbray.

"Otay Mountain is a stunning example of how a sensible and balanced environmental policy can work," said Jacob, who recently toured the area with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and representatives of various environmental groups, wildlife agencies, and the US Border Patrol. "An area that was once trashed, trampled, and burned due to heavy illegal immigrant traffic is returning to its pristine state. The time is right to designate Otay Mountain as a wilderness area to not only provide long-term protection of this beautiful natural resource, but continue to allow appropriate access by the U.S. Border Patrol and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to ensure public safety in the region and to allow opportunities for public recreation to be established."

Composed of rock with unusual properties that benefit plant growth, Otay Mountain has long been recognized as a unique ecosystem. As a result, the mountain supports a large number of endangered and sensitive species and is also home to the world's largest strand of rare Tecate Cypress. Eighteen thousand, five-hundred acres on Otay Mountain would be designated as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.