By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office
Photo: a view of Iron Mountain along the trail in Poway
August 8, 2019 (Poway) - County supervisors Wednesday approved buying 160 acres near Iron Mountain in Poway to give threatened animals like deer and the California gnatcatcher more room to roam, and potentially, people more trails and connections to hike.
The 160 acres are located east of State Route 67 near Poway Road, adjacent to 1,123 acres owned by the city of Poway, surrounding Iron Mountain, one of the most popular hiking destinations in the county.
The County Board of Supervisors set Wednesday’s public hearing date to consider buying the property at its July 10 meeting.
At that time County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said County and the city of Poway had been working since 2015 to expand the Iron Mountain Preserve.
“This action is something that has been in the works for many, many years and I’m very excited to see this finally come to fruition,” Jacob said July 10. “This acquisition will provide greater protected area to wildlife and habitat, (and) will add to the regional connection to other trails in the area such as the Transcounty Trail.”
Because the land includes important habitat that can support numerous threatened species, it fits within the County’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). Since instituting the MSCP in 1998 and through 2018, the County has invested $202 million to acquire more than 22,000 acres of open space to protect habitat and species.
The County is buying the new land from Poway Iron Mountain Estates LLC for $1.28 million, using a $200,000 grant it received from the State of California Habitat Conservation Fund in 2016 to help pay for the purchase.
County officials said that once the purchase is complete, the County will enter into an agreement with the City of Poway to manage the property, with the exception of habitat monitoring that will be done by the County under the MSCP.