News Release


DATE: September 19, 2008

CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108 



Ramona, CA – The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state to add more than 3,000 acres of high-quality habitat to the Ramona Grasslands Preserve. The acquisition increases the County’s ownership within the preserve to 3,470 acres, more than seven times its current size.

The new acreage includes the areas of Gildred Ranch, Davis-Eagle Ranch and Oak Country, and was purchased with county, federal and state grant funds for $30.4 million.

“The land is a stunning example of our region’s rich rural history. From its hawks to its native grasses, the preserve showcases the wonders of Mother Nature like nowhere else,” said Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, who represents Ramona on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The Ramona Grasslands Preserve connects a key wildlife corridor between South and North County preserve areas.

“The expansion will help safeguard one of southern California’s last remaining large and intact grasslands. The public will have a rare chance to experience this extraordinary piece of our natural heritage,” said Chris Basilevac, a senior project director for The Nature Conservancy, an organization that works to protect ecologically important lands and waters around the world.

“Our partnership with The Nature Conservancy and other agencies demonstrates our shared commitment to preserve open space and provide recreational opportunities for residents today and generations to come,” added Renée Bahl, Director of the County Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is currently developing a long-term land management program that will include public access to multi-use trails connecting the County’s Santa Maria Creek Greenway and trails within the community of Ramona. Phase One of the preserve will be open to the public in late 2009.