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SANDAG Buys 1,900-Acre Hidden Valley Open Space

Above: Hidden Valley Open Space in Jamul.

A 1,905-acre parcel of open space on the northeast flank of Mount San Miguel in Jamul has been acquired by the San Diego Association of Governments and U.S. Department of the Interior, the agencies announced today.

The property, purchased from a private concern for $18 million, adds to the 11,000-acre San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.

SANDAG is using the land to mitigate against environmental damage from transportation projects around the county.

"The sheer size and strategic location of the Hidden Valley property makes it another crown jewel in our TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program,'' said Santee Councilman Jack Dale, a SANDAG vice chairman. "Since starting the program in 2008, less than five years ago, SANDAG has preserved more than 3,300 acres of open space and valuable habitat in the San Diego region.''

SANDAG contributed $10 million of the cost, and the federal government chipped in the rest. Title to the property is now held by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The land is home to, or traveled through, by a number of endangered or recovering species, such as the Quino checkerspot butterfly, California gnatcatcher and arroyo toad.

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