The Land Conservancy is working to transform a 900-acre private ranch above Pismo Beach into a public preserve for outdoor recreation and community enjoyment.
Who own's the 900-acre Pismo Preserve?
The Land Conservancy owns and operates the Pismo Preserve. We are a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Is the Pismo Preserve open to the public?
Not yet. The Pismo Preserve is currently closed to the public. Once remaining funding is secured, construction of the parking lot and remaining amenities should begin in summer 2018. We estimate opening about 6 months after start of construction.
When will the Pismo Preserve be open to the public?
We plan to fully open the Pismo Preserve to the public by the end of 2018. For more information on why the opening has been delayed, view our most recent Press Release.
Why can’t I access the Preserve now?
We need time to construct enjoyable and sustainable trails that will protect the resources onsite. In addition, per requirements, we must construct a parking lot and restrooms at the entrance to the Preserve to minimize impacts to local roads and neighborhoods and serve our visitors.
If the Preserve is closed to the public, why have I seen people out there?
LCSLO staff and docents have lead weekly guided hikes and mountain bike rides. These outings have been temporarily suspended as of July 2018 in order to prepare the site for construction.
Staff also visit the site daily in preparation for opening the Preserve to the public. Consultants and government officials have visited the site during the planning and permitting process, so it is common to see people on different parts of the property. In some cases individuals may be trespassing. If you see any suspicious activity, please contact our office immediately at (805) 544-9096.
Is there any way to visit the property before it opens?
LCSLO staff and docents lead weekly guided hikes and mountain bike rides. Currently LCSLO and CCCMB members have first priority for these outings. To register for a hike or mountain bike ride please check out our events calendar and register online. To get an idea of what the preserve has to offer, please see the Pismo Preserve video link here.
Visiting the Preserve Once It Opens
Where will the entrance to the Preserve be located?
The entrance to the Preserve will be located off of Mattie Road, near the Mattie Road on and off-ramps for Highway 101 in Pismo Beach.
What will be the hours of operation and what will it cost to get in?
The Pismo Preserve will be open daily from dawn to dusk (approximately a half an hour before sunrise and a half an hour after sunset). Entrance to the Preserve will be FREE.
Will there be a ranger at the Preserve during hours of operation?
There will be a part-time preserve steward who will open and close the preserve daily, check for garbage and vandalism, and maintain the park’s infrastructure. The Preserve Manager, a private security company along with the Pismo Beach Police Department, and SLO County Sheriff’s Department will be responsible for enforcing the rules that will be in effect to protect adjacent landowners, the natural resources on site, and people who visit the property.
Will mountain bikes be allowed?
Yes. Mountain bikers will be required to follow the posted trail rules and signs. We are working with Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB) to identify and establish trails that are designed with mountain bikers in mind.
Will dogs be allowed?
Yes, on leash. Dog owners will be required to follow the posted trail rules and signs.
Will horses be allowed?
Yes. Equestrians will be required to follow the posted trail rules and signs. We are working with SLOPOST, Backcountry Horsemen, RideNipomo and other local groups to identify and establish trails that are horse-friendly. We plan to create a separate parking lot at the entrance that can accommodate horse trailers.
Will motorized vehicles be allowed?
No. The Preserve will be open to passive recreation only. LCSLO staff, however, will regularly use trucks or other motorized vehicles to access the property for maintenance and stewardship.
Will special events or gatherings be allowed?
Occasionally. Similar to local public parks, LCSLO will likely allow special events, subject to paying a fee and reserving a site.
Will camping be allowed?
Once open, will the Preserve be closed during rain events?
During significant storm events the Preserve will be closed to protect the trails, soil, and springs found on the property. During minor storm events, some trails will be closed depending on their slope steepness, soil type, and erodibility.
What amenities will be constructed onsite?
LCSLO plans to construct two adjacent parking lots at the entrance on Mattie Road. Vehicle access will be restricted to that parking lot. A fully ADA accessible restroom, informational kiosk, and picnic tables will be constructed at the entrance off Mattie Road as well. Benches and picnic tables will be installed throughout the Preserve. LCSLO plans to construct at least one ADA accessible trail on the lower slopes of the Preserve.
How many miles of trails will be onsite?
There are currently 11 miles of trail and ranch roads on the property, thanks to hundreds of LCSLO volunteers. We will also construct an ADA accessible trail before the Preserve opens to the public in 2018. There will likely be 14 miles of trails in total once all the loops and connections are completed.
Where will the trails be located?
There are currently 11 miles of trail and ranch roads on the property, thanks to hundreds of LCSLO volunteers. In general, the trails will meander on contour up the more gradual hills in the middle of the property to the ridgeline above. The sensitive steep slopes and areas immediately adjacent to neighborhoods will be left untouched.
Will you still graze cattle on the Preserve?
Yes. Given the recent drought, we are “resting” the rangeland, meaning we will keep cattle off until the grasses and other plants have had time to recover.
What sort of treatment of invasive species will you do at the Preserve?
To manage fire risk and reduce impacts to native habitat, we will work closely with our on staff Pest Control Advisor on staff and our ranching tenant to manage weeds onsite. Once open to the public, we will also incorporate boot and tire washing stations to help reduce the introduction of new invasive plants and other organisms.
How will LCSLO manage fire risk?
LCSLO will continue to lease the property for cattle grazing and goats will be used for brush management and shaded fuel breaks where needed, which will reduce the risk of catastrophic fire. Smoking and campfires will be strictly forbidden. The park will include three emergency ingress and egress points.
How will the Preserve impact local neighborhoods?
Access to the Preserve will be from Mattie Road, which is directly accessible from Highway 101, without traversing through surrounding neighborhoods. LCSLO expects impacts to those neighborhoods to be minimal. This will be the only public entry point for the property and will be located near the on and off-ramps for Highway 101. It is anticipated the Preserve will become a recreational attraction popular with both local residents and area tourists alike. Visitation to the preserve will likely have an economic boost for businesses with visitor-servicing amenities such as restaurants, coffee shops and gas stations.
How is the Pismo Preserve funded?
LCSLO has a modest endowment to support the operation of the Preserve in the future. The initial access improvements are/will be funded by donations from the community, in-kind services from local consultants and other professionals, and local grants. We are still accepting donations to support the opening of the Preserve and ongoing maintenance.
How will the property be protected in perpetuity and what’s to keep LCSLO from selling it to a private party someday?
The Land Conservancy is a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation and we are accountable to the public we serve per State and Federal laws. We must uphold our promises to our donors and funders. In addition, the State agencies who funded the purchase require that we place restrictions on the deed that are recorded at the County-Clerk Recorders office that state that the land will be used for public benefit as defined by the funding sources. The deed restrictions state that the land shall become the property of the State or designated similar conservation organization should The Land Conservancy cease to exist in the future.
How can I help?
You can donate directly to the Preserve today or sign up to volunteer in the future! You can also spread the word that the Preserve is not yet open, but that LCSLO is working diligently to create an outstanding park for the community. If you are a contractor that would like to provide in-kind services to the Pismo Preserve project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!