Adventure Awaits You at Pismo Preserve
The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has officially closed escrow and taken ownership of the Pismo Preserve as of September 16, 2014. In addition to raising an unprecedented $12.3 million in just over six months to purchase the property and make initial site improvements, The Land Conservancy has finalized all the paperwork and legal agreements required to permanently conserve the property for community benefit.
Eight million of the conservation funding was provided by the State Coastal Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board, $3 million came from local and regional government agencies, and the remaining $1.3 million was donated by the community. This broad-reaching financial support exemplifies the many diverse yet interconnected ways that land conservation benefits a community.
The Land Conservancy is currently working with the Wallace Group to design, engineer, and permit two staging areas/parking lots, restroom facilities, picnic areas, and ADA-compliant site features. Over the next nine months, the organization hopes to gain approval from the County of San Luis Obispo and the Coastal Commission for its proposed site improvements. During this time, The Land Conservancy also plans to engage the community in a series of stakeholder workshops to make sure that people can voice their concerns and opinions before the Preserve is open to the public.
Already underway are rough designs for a multi-use trail system that would add nearly a dozen miles of new trails and linkages to the existing ten miles of ranch roads currently on the Pismo Preserve. Much of the trail work will be completed by local volunteers including leadership from local equestrian groups and the Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB) – all of which have extensive hands-on experience with trail building and maintenance.
The Land Conservancy anticipates construction of the parking lots and staging areas to begin by late summer or early winter in 2015. If permitting and construction can be completed under this ambitious time frame, the Pismo Preserve would be open for dawn-to-dusk community use this time next year. There is currently no public access allowed on the property because certain amenities must be constructed to support public use before opening, but community members can gain exclusive access by volunteering or attending a stakeholder workshop.
CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO OF THIS AMAZING PROPERTY.
The Pismo Preserve is located just northeast of the incorporated City of Pismo Beach, in San Luis Obispo County. The property is highly visible and easily accessible from scenic Highway 101 and Price Canyon Road. This is private property with no trespassing until the Preserve is open to the public.
At over 900 acres, the Pismo Preserve offers truly exceptional and diverse recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will enjoy over 10 miles of existing ranch roads and trails that meander throughout the property offering ready-to-use routes ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. These trails traverse serene oak woodlands and coastal ridgelines with stunning panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean stretching from the Irish Hills to Point Sal.
Located just off California’s scenic Highway 101, existing access off Mattie Road provides an ideal location to establish visitor parking with ample room for horse trailers. Additionally, trails on the Pismo Preserve will provide connections to and from several major hiking and biking trails.
In addition to myriad recreational opportunities, the picturesque Pismo Preserve boasts a diverse array of plant communities. The western edge of the ranch is composed of rolling annual grasslands and coastal scrub. These communities give way to maritime chaparral along the southern slopes, while dense coast live oak woodlands cover the steep canyons and north facing hillsides. Majestic sycamore and willow riparian corridors wind through lowlands and a wide floodplain along Thousand Hills Road and Price Canyon.
Streams that flow through the preserve, including Pismo Creek, provide natural habitats that are vital for the protection of sensitive species. Federally threatened South-Central California Coast Steelhead, federally endangered California red-legged frog, and numerous species of concern including the southwestern pond turtle, have all been identified on the preserve.
The acquisition of Pismo Preserve will allow The Land Conservancy to protect and enhance these natural resources through conservation and restoration efforts which ensures refuge for sensitive species such as these, far into the future.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: DONATE OR VOLUNTEER
The Pismo Preserve has been purchased, but we will continue to raise funds for future phases towards the Preserve as well as other projects like this that will permanently conserve the natural resources on the property and will significantly reduce current and future development thereby preserving the natural and rural character of the Central Coast. Connecting the community to disappearing places like this also provides exciting opportunities for education and interpretation.
You can make a donation here or mail in your donation to us at LCSLO, PO Box 12206, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.
For volunteer opportunities and updates, sign up for The Land Conservancy’s e-newsletter here or follow us on Facebook.