Open Space Preservation

How are we doing?

Since the adoption of The Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP) Subarea Plan in 1997 through 2018, the County and its partners have achieved 80% of their total conservation goal – which is 98,379-acres.  In 21 years of this 50-year program, the County and its private conservation partners have assembled 78,565 total acres as part of the MSCP.  In early 2017, County Parks received approval from the Board of Supervisors to add 82 acres to the 1,900-acre Hellhole Canyon County Preserve.  

How is it measured?

Preservation is targeted within areas identified as having habitat with high biological value.  The MSCP preserve is to be assembled through a combination of baseline open space areas that existed in 1997, lands preserved as mitigation through the development permit process, and public agency and private acquisitions from willing sellers.

Why is it important?

The MSCP preserves San Diego County's native habitats and wildlife for future generations.  It works across political boundaries, providing a unique framework for region-wide conservation efforts – balancing them with streamlined building regulations and permit processes to support healthy community growth.  Programs are in place to manage, maintain and monitor the plant and animal life on the lands once they’ve become part of a preserve, to ensure they are alive, healthy and thriving.  Take a look at the 2018 report for further information.

Where are we going? 

The MSCP means we must comply with the federal Endangered Species Act, state Endangered Species Act, and state Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act.  The goal is to acquire or permanently protect nearly 100,000 acres of land in the unincorporated parts of the County.  The plan outlines ways to acquire large, connected preserve areas to safeguard species that are protected, endangered and/or unique to the region.  County Parks will keep looking for opportunities to preserve open space.