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Supervisors advance land proposal for Ramona preserve

A rehabilitated coyote is released into the wild in Ramona, June 22, 2018.
Sandy Huffaker/AP Images for The HSUS
A rehabilitated coyote is released into the wild in Ramona, June 22, 2018.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Wednesday to take an initial step toward purchasing 228 acres for the Ramona Grasslands County Preserve.

Voting as part of its consent agenda during the Wednesday meeting — which focuses on land use and environmental matters — the board also set a June 15 hearing on the proposal.

If supervisors vote yes next month, the county will spend $640,000 to buy the land from the Revocable Trust of Donald J. Metzler and Diane W. Metzler.


Located in the Santa Maria Valley, the existing 3,600-plus acre Ramona preserve is popular with cyclists, hikers, horseback riders and wildlife enthusiasts.

It features Diegan coastal sage scrub and riparian habitat, and is also home to three sensitive species: the arroyo toad, coastal California gnatcatcher and Stephen's kangaroo rat.

According to information on the county agenda, acquiring the property would "further protect the region's biodiversity, and supports implementation of the county's 2018 Climate Action Plan and efforts to improve water quality."

Last September, supervisors approved the easement of 220.5 acres of open space in Ramona. According to a representative of the Endangered Habitats League's San Diego chapter, that decision also benefited the Grasslands Preserve.

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