Preservation, Recreation and the MSCP

On Aug. 30, County Parks and Recreation participated in workshop to discuss the status of species preservation in San Diego. Nearly 200 people attended the event at the Ocean Air Recreation Center, representing local government agencies, community groups, volunteers and residents. 

The Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) has been in effect for 19 years. It is a region-wide program designed to monitor and protect plant and animal life on preserved land – tracking behavior and change over time, and addressing issues caused by invasive species and human phenomenon. 

The MSCP aligns with the Federal Endangered Species Act, the State Endangered Species Act, and the State Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act.

It works across political boundaries, involving all San Diego County landowners in efforts to preserve our unique habitats while at the same time securing new properties and streamlining building regulations and processes to support healthy community growth that won't detract from the natural environment.

It also identifies new access routes and connection points for recreational travel. Some of these opportunities are easy to identify. Others come from taking a step back; surveying our land through a global lens, and being open to launching creative projects that are not limited by jurisdictional boundaries. 

Collectively, we’ve saved many species – even entire ecosystems – from urban growth, with a model for conservation that has earned accolades at the national level. Here are some highlights from 2016:

  • We acquired 22,000 acres of valuable land, combining $80 Million in County funds with another $90 Million from our partners.
  • We acquired 55 acres of potential Quino Checkerspot Butterfly habitat – which was treated and weeded (removing invasives that interfered with the butterfly’s natural diet).  
  • We planted 5,000 native trees in developed parks where trees were lost due to drought and harmful beetles.
  • We launched a study on the biocontrol of Shot Hole Borers (one of those harmful beetles) at parks and preserves across San Diego.
  • We finalized studies on the Pallid Bat, the Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, eagles and other raptors.
  • After 19 years, we reached a combined total 3,700 discretionary permits for developers – bringing us closer to a day when all residents, in all San Diego County communities, have easy access to outdoor spaces.

We’re happy to work alongside a myriad of partners which include the Cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and Poway; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Earth Discovery Institute; the Living Coast Discovery Center, the San Diego Audubon Society, the San Diego Zoo, and many others.

Learn more by viewing the 2017 report, or by visiting our MSCP web page


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