L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl wrote in her recent newsletter, “We often think that only global summits can provide sweeping changes to protect our planet, but the truth is, a good deal of our climate action starts right here at home.”
One example: The 325-acre parcel off Kanan Road and below the City of Agoura Hills, known as the Triangle Ranch, is now in the hands of environmentalists.
The land was purchased over the course of four years for $28.075 million. Escrow closed in November on the final 150 acres after a 20-year battle to stop development. In the 2000s, the land was slated for residential development, with as many as 80 homes planned.
According to the Malibu Times, “In 2017, an agreement was reached for the landowner to cancel the development and sell the property to the joint agencies (the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority) overseen by Joe Edmiston” — a longtime Palisadian.
This four-part acquisition began in 2018, with multiple public and private funding sources, including L.A. County.
The cost was $16.5 million for the first three parcels (170 acres) in September 2018. Kuehl was instrumental in granting $2.5 million in L.A. County Proposition A funds towards the acquisition, and the Conservancy contributed more than $9.8 million with a combination of grants from Propositions 40, 50, 84, 1 and 68. The City of Agoura Hills contributed $800,000.
The final parcel costing $11.5 million was funded when State Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymember Richard Bloom submitted a budget request for $15.5 million from the state’s general fund and received $8 million. The remaining funds came from MRCA ($5,000), $95,000 from a non-cash credit for option payment from earlier phases, $1.428 million from Calabasas landfill economic recover funds and SMMC grant from general fund allocation for $1,979, 351.
The new parkland adds to more than 500 contiguous acres of protected open space owned by the Conservancy and the MRCA in this area, providing wildlife corridors and pathways.
According to a 2018 SMMC press release, “The property includes broad swaths of coast live oak woodland, chaparral, purple sage scrub, native and annual grassland, and valley oak savannah. Many rock outcroppings contain unique microsites for plants and animals. The new parkland supports mountain lion, mule deer, American badger, bobcat, gray fox, ring-tailed cat, long-tailed weasel, California quail, and dozens of reptile species.”
Kuehl concluded in her newsletter, “A big thanks to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Senator Henry Stern, Assemblymember Richard Bloom and all who helped make this possible!”