Two ridgeline parcels located in the City of Chino Hills immediately adjacent to the Chino Hills State Park were approved for funding by the Wildlife Conservation Board at its May meeting.
Both properties have been coveted for their prominent ridgeline positions since the 1970s, said Melanie Schlotterbeck, conservation consultant for Hills For Everyone, the group that founded the State Park.
This second and final phase of the Eastbridge acquisition completes an east-west connection that has been on the wish list for 40 years, she said.
Escrow on the 80-acre parcel in southern Aliso Canyon is expected to close this month, she said.
It is not known yet when escrow will close on the 320-acre First National Investment Properties, she added.
The Wildlife Conservation Board will use monies allocated through the Habitat Conservation Fund approved by voters in 1990 to preserve the land because of their significant deer and mountain lion habitat.
“Both properties are also important ridgeline lands, protecting visitors and views from what could have been intrusive housing developments,” she said.
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) agreed to be the interim owner and manager of the two properties.
Last year, Hills For Everyone facilitated the preservation of 320 acres of the Eastbridge property as Phase 1 of a two-phase transaction. This year, the organization took the lead role on conserving the last 80 acres as Phase 2, Ms. Schlotterbeck said.
In a separate negotiation coordinated by The Conservation Fund, 320 acres of the First National acquisition was completed with Hills for Everyone’s assistance, the first in a series of transactions to secure the remaining unprotected ridgelines totalling 1,200 acres.