Thank you for highlighting the benefits of land conservation in the Jan. 3 cover story “Conserving SLO’s greenbelt.” I’m grateful for the city’s natural resources program, and I’m happy to note that there’s even more good news happening outside the SLO greenbelt. In addition to assisting the city’s program, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County is active throughout our entire county with land preservation—from Lake Nacimiento in the north to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes in the south—we are preserving important agricultural, scenic, and open space lands.
Since 1984, our local nonprofit has permanently protected 35 exceptional properties totaling more than 14,000 acres. (For context, that’s the total area of the city of Santa Maria.) In addition, we have partnered to conserve thousands more acres and protected landmark sights iconic to our region like the Point Sal Preserve, Point San Luis Lighthouse, Estero Bluffs State Park, the Octagon Barn, and the Dana Adobe. If you’ve ever visited these sites or hiked the trail on Cerro San Luis or the Froom Ranch, or biked on the Bob Jones Trail, you can thank the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.
Right now we are collaborating on the addition of Wild Cherry Canyon and Hibberd Preserve to expand Montana de Oro State Park by 65 percent. That would open 3,800 acres of pristine coastal habitat for public enjoyment and link Avila Beach to Los Osos via a backcountry trail. Like the article said, “It’s not easy, keeping green.” But it sure is easier with the professional help of the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.
For more information about conservation activities in our county, see our website, lcslo.org.