ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION AND PACIFIC CREST TRAIL ASSOCIATION PRESERVE OPEN SPACE

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March 20, 2012 (Anza-Borrego) -- Pacific Crest Trails Association and Anza-Borrego Foundation are pleased to announce the purchase of 40 acres within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
 
The once privately-held parcel located next to the Pacific Crest Trail will be preserved as open space and set aside for public use.  PCTA helped pay a portion of the purchase price and Anza-Borrego Foundation will hold the land in trust for the state park. It’s the first partnership between the two nonprofit conservation groups.
 
This was a priority purchase for both groups. Privately held parcels within the state park boundaries increasingly have been developed for housing and other uses. This purchase ensures that this property will remain in its largely natural and untouched state.
 
The parcel is located in upper Coyote Canyon at the top of Nance Canyon in Riverside County. The area includes open grassland amongst swaths of chaparral shrubs and juniper woodland. The terrain is south facing and littered with rocky ridges and fields. A riparian area with water-loving native trees ribbons through the lower portion of the parcel.
 
The 1774 and 1775-76 Anza Expeditions to California traveled up Nance Canyon from lower Coyote Canyon to the San Carlos Pass, exiting the desert to a greener more pastoral California. A Cahuilla Indian village was also located in this area.
 
“It’s a great property because it provides wildlife habitat, it has cultural and historic value,” said Diana Lindsay, ABF vice president of environmental affairs. “And it’s a fabulous property for hikers on the PCT because it has water and can be used for camping.”
 
The Pacific Crest Trail is one of 11 National Scenic Trails. It runs along the southeast corner of this parcel. PCTA identified the parcel as a priority for purchase in 2004 because of its proximity to the trail.  Donations to the association’s Land Protection Fund were used to pay for the conservation project.
 
“Through the generosity of our donors, we were able to partner on this purchase and help save this property from development,” said Liz Bergeron, PCTA executive director. “It’s highly likely that this parcel would have been sold for a house or some other project.  Now it will be preserved for future generations.”
 
• The Pacific Crest Trail Association is a Sacramento, Calif.-based nonprofit whose members protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile hiking and equestrian trail from Mexico to Canada that follows the mountainous crest through California, Oregon and Washington. The association, through private donations and public partnerships, organizes annual trail maintenance while actively preserving the landscape around the trail, thereby maintaining the outdoor trail experience. For more information, go to pcta.org

• Anza-Borrego Foundation based in Borrego Springs, Calif., is the nonprofit cooperating association for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It acquires land for conservation in and around the Park, educates the public on its resources, and supports research relevant to the region. The Foundation operates the Anza-Borrego Institute, a field school that provides high quality, in-depth educational courses to over 1,300 visitors each year. For more information, go to theabf.org