1,300 Acres of Open Space Protected as Promised

In June, OCTA and supporters celebrated the issuance of a conservation plan that forever preserves 1,300 acres of Orange County wilderness and also fulfills a promise made to supporters of Measure M, Orange County’s sales tax for transportation improvements.

OCTA Directors Lori Donchak and Lisa Bartlett and CEO Darrell Johnson attended an event in Trabuco Canyon along with representatives from the environmental community, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and OCTA’s Environmental Oversight Committee.

The completion of the permitting process for the Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP) marks the culmination of more than 10 years of cooperative work among OCTA, wildlife agencies and local environmental leaders.

In 2006, voters approved Measure M with the promise that a portion of the sales tax would be used for conservation. OCTA’s Freeway Environmental Program allocates funds from Measure M to acquire land and fund habitat restoration in exchange for streamlined approvals for 13 freeway improvement projects throughout Orange County.

The conservation plan is comprehensive, preserving large swaths of land rather than acquiring smaller portions piece by piece as freeways are developed. This approach helps provide connectivity to other natural lands and allows animals to move about the land with fewer geographical restrictions.

To learn more about OCTA’s Conservation Plan, click here

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