By Miriam Raftery
Photo by Ursula Esser courtesy of Anza Borrego Foundation: Base of Sheep Canyon
June 8, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – California’s largest state park is about to get even bigger. The Anza Borrego Foundation announced that it has closed escrow on several properties it plans to donate to the state to expand Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The land transfer will include 331 parcels totaling 17,598 acres over 25 years of land acquisitions.
“In response to COVID-19, there has been increased land activity. Landowners have called eager to sell, and a couple even wanted to donate their land to ABF,” a newsletter sent by the ABF to its members states.
Grant writing and land acquisition have continued even while the park has been closed off to the public due to the pandemic.
One of the newly acquired is a 10-acre parcel of donated land overlooking Texas Dip and San Felipe Wash, surrounded on all four sides by ABF and State Park property.
In addition, on April 1, the ABF closed escrow on two inholdings (lands surrounded by the state park) with grants from the Resources fund. These include a 4-acre parcel close to the Cactus Garden area of the Park in a vulnerable section adjacent to Kane Springs Road, bordered by Park land and a 10-acre parcel in the far reaches of Coyote and Sheep Canyons in a remote part of Sheep Canyon Wilderness.
The transfer to the California State Parks Service is expected to be finalized soon.
“Even in the face of COVID-19, we are hopeful for the close of sale in the next few months, to be able to leverage land transfer funds for future acquisitions,” the ABF statement concludes.
You can learn more, donate funds or land to the Anza Borrego Foundation at https://theabf.org/.