Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF), cooperating association of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, on December 1 announced the final elements in the conservation of the Lucky 5 Ranch in the Laguna Mountains, northeast of San Diego. ABF purchased just under 1,130 acres and obtained a conservation easement on 433 acres to fulfill decades-long efforts by California State Parks, ABF, The Nature Conservancy, and others to connect the 4,245-acre ranch to adjacent pieces of federal and state conservation land, creating a major parcel of exceptional natural beauty and biological importance. The acreage will eventually become part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
ABF’s actions are the final piece in the creation of a wildlife corridor—a continuous connection of publicly protected lands—from the desert floor to the Laguna Mountains. The large confluence of protected lands provides numerous recreational opportunities, sites for research and study, expanses of scenic landscape, support for abundant wildlife, and the potential for several species of animals to relocate if needed because of the effects of climate change.
“Adding another piece of the Lucky 5 ranch to be preserved within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is quite an achievement for Anza-Borrego Foundation and valuable to conserving San Diego County’s backcountry,” says Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent Kathy Dice. “In addition to creating a wildlife corridor and unbroken transition zone from montane to chaparral to desert habitats, this property also represents a prime example of 19th- and 20th- century Southern California ranching. These are the very things that fall into the mission of California State Parks – to preserve the best of California forever.”