New arrangement protects land and wildlife near Lakeside

Over 400 acres of land west of Lakeside will be protected under an agreement announced today by the San Diego Association of Governments, U.S. Department of Defense and the Endangered Habits Conservancy.

The land, a 410-acre Lakeside Downs property, is located west of state Route 67 in an unincorporated part of the county. According to SANDAG, several threatened species reside in the area including the coastal California gnatcatcher, a coastal sage scrub habitat and extensive stands of spiny redberry, the host plant for the rare Hermes copper butterfly.

Once the target of a proposed development that featured 140 proposed homes, agency Chairman Jack Dale, who is also a Santee councilman, thanked the voter-approved TransNet program for helping to protect the Lakeside Downs area. 

"Lakeside Downs is the 34th open space acquisition that SANDAG has helped to complete through the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program," Dale said. "Thanks to the voter-approved TransNet program, we’ve preserved nearly 3,800 acres of important natural resources to date.”

The arrangement came after SANDAG agreed to put up half of the $8 million cost of the property, while the Defense Department put up the other half. The conservancy, which helped broker the deal, will own and manage the property, according to SANDAG. EHC manages around 5,000 acres of open space in total. 

Along with wildlife, the arrangement will also benefit MCAS Miramar, which has a large military housing complex just three miles away.

Categories: KUSI