February 1st, 2007
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
Dedication of the 200 Acre Designated Remainder and Deed Transfer
On January 10, 2007, a well-attended ceremony was held by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) for Santa Barbara County to receive the 200 acre dedication of land (otherwise known as the “Designated Remainder”) for the Preserve at San Marcos project. During the ceremony, several public officials and others acknowledged the San Marcos Foothills Coalitions’ efforts throughout the years in having a positive influence on the outcome of the project. The 200 acre area will contain a trail network connecting it with the public park that will be developed by the County Parks and Recreation Department as part of the project.
Creating a Vision for the property
Many years ago, before the current development was approved by the County, the SMFC put forth a Stewardship Plan to create a suite of potential options for the land assuming at that time that all of the land could be preserved. The Plan (see link below) was meant to be a starting place for conservation ideas that could be further developed once additional funding and project parameters were determined. We are now at that phase, and while the future of the West Mesa is still uncertain, we know that the 200 acres of land given to the County requires careful attention of the Coalition to ensure it is properly managed and preserved. Ultimately, the 200 acres that is now in the County’s ownership will be managed by the County of Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Department. The SMFC is currently exploring options to assist the County with the future stewardship of the land. The SMFC believes that the current focus should be on enhancing and preserving the 200 acres the public has received. We will keep you posted on the progress of future stewardship opportunities as they develop.
As we have reported in past updates, Mr. Bermant (the project developer) agreed to an option for an alternate development scenario on the West Mesa portion of the Land. The West Mesa contains some of the most sensitive habitat found on the land, including a fanglomerate formation (boulderfield), native grasslands, and heritage oak trees. The SMFC is continuing with negotiations and the evaluation of various scenarios that would result in options for additional open space to be added to the existing 200 acres that have already been donated to the County.
We thank you all for your continued interest and support and will keep you informed as more opportunities present themselves in caring for this precious land. We welcome your input and hope you will stay involved throughout the next phases of this process.
Please help us at this critical juncture by making a financial contribution to our effort. Send your tax-deductible donation to:
San Marcos Foothills Coalition
PO Box 30412
Santa Barbara, CA 93130
We depend on you, our community of supporters, to help us in our efforts to permanently preserve more open space in our rapidly changing world. The SMFC is working to achieve the best possible outcome for the ecologically sensitive West Mesa area of the property and to voice the community’s concerns in nearby neighborhoods. We look forward to working with you to save at least 300 acres of the property and to ensure appropriate management and stewardship of these lands in perpetuity!
Finally, we are so grateful to all of you who have supported this effort to protect the best of what remains of Santa Barbara’s foothills.
Board of Directors
Please view SMFC’s alternative vision for SMF:
To make the Stewardship Plan available
to all users,
Our 2001 Plan for the Preservation and Stewardship
of San Marcos Foothills
we offer three different approaches.
Stewardship Plan in html. Most users
will find html provides faster loading and cleaner text, but the maps require
scrolling - especially for users with average sized monitors. The 'Table of Contents'
button allows you to move effectively within The Plan.
Stewardship Plan in pdf. This version is best for printing
and ease of viewing. You will need to first click
here to go to Adobe's web site to download the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Once you have the reader click
here to download the PDF file [Note that this is a large file (>10meg.).
If your connection is slow it will take a while]. Once you have downloaded the
Plan go to your FILE menu and SAVE A COPY so you can view it off-line at your