With more than 10 million residents, Los Angeles County is the nation’s most populated county, and its continued growth means Mt. Baldy, located less than an hour from Los Angeles, and other natural areas are at risk for development.

Helping a Vision Come to Life

In 2014, thanks to an $850,000 grant through River Parkways, a program of California’s Natural Resource Agency, The Conservation Fund purchased nearly 300 acres on Mt. Baldy and transferred the property to the Watershed Conservation Authority, who will own and manage the property for permanent preservation.

One of the last open tracts on the mountain was zoned for development. But with its significant natural and scenic resources, and its importance as a critical wildlife corridor and landscape connector, preservation was the best outcome for this property.

The property is contiguous to thousands of acres of protected open space and contains a diverse range of wildlife, habitats and trails, as well as key trail connections between the Sheep Mountain Wilderness and Cucamonga Wilderness, both of which are considered vital habitat areas within the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests. A scenic creek that passes through the property creates a natural creek corridor that is undeveloped and unmodified for more than 20 miles, providing vibrant riparian habitat of cottonwood, sycamore, mulefat and willow.


Why This Project Matters

Mt. Baldy is one of The Conservation Fund's first land conservation efforts in Los Angeles County and follows on the heels of our recent green infrastructure-based plan, the Emerald Necklace Forest to Ocean Expanded Vision Plan for Los Angeles County. This plan creates a common vision and implementation strategies for a large-scale interconnected network of green space from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is severely lacking green space, compared to other cities of its size, and it’s having an effect on its residents. In the City of Los Angeles, the average life expectancy differs by 12 years from the lowest-income portion of the city to the highest-earning. Parks, especially in underserved areas, represent an opportunity to build healthier communities. Parks and green space offer safer places to play, cleaner air and water, habitat protection for wildlife, better resilience to climate change, improved public health and a robust green economy.

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