Beauty Mountain Wilderness Area
Mature Coopers hawk. Photo by Alan Vernon.
Beauty Mountain Wilderness Area truly lives up to its name, with its dramatic rock formations and its namesake—the 5,500-foot Beauty Mountain—providing a stunning backdrop to the increasingly urbanized region around San Diego. Already a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, The Conservation Fund’s efforts here ensure that the area will continue to be enjoyed by the public for generations to come.
Back in 2007, the Fund and its partners built on years of strategic conservation purchases to protect significant natural and cultural resources in San Diego County, California. Thanks to a grant from the state’s Resources Legacy Fund Foundation and a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, we conserved more than 1,500 acres for addition to the Beauty Mountain Wilderness Area. Protection of these lands also helps with the protection of the upper reaches of Chihuahua Creek and its associated wetlands, which flow through adjacent protected lands.
The Beauty Mountain and Cooper Canyon area contains a wide range of important natural resources, exceptional scenic views and important habitat for many threatened or endangered species. The valley is rich in cultural and historic resources.
Approximately 55 endangered, threatened, rare, protected or declining species of animals and plants have been identified in this region of San Diego County. Portions of the lands protected contain habitat that can support many of these sensitive species including mountain lion, golden eagle, Coopers hawk, prairie falcon, San Diego horned lizard and northern red-diamond rattlesnake.
The protected lands enhance important wildlife corridors and landscape connections to the expansive public lands on their border, managed by the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Bureau of Land Management and the California Department of Fish and Game. The properties we conserved were transferred to the Bureau of Land Management for long-term stewardship.