Chorro Creek Ecological Reserve

Project Type: 
Land Acquisition
Morro Bay National Estuary Program
Trust for Public Land
Wildlife Conservation Board
US Fish and Wildlife Service
California Resource Agency
California Department of Transportation
California State Coastal Conservancy
California Department of Fish & Game
Sierra Club - Santa Lucia Chapter

A 580-acre ranch, once slated for a golf course and resort, was aqcuired and turned into a State of California Ecological Reserve. The ranch includes critical Morro Bay watershed lands and floodplains as well as the lower foothills of the striking local landmark, Hollister Peak. (New Paragraph) An extraordinary opportunity to acquire this ranch for open space arose in 2000. Frustrated by the permitting process required to develop the parcel, the owner placed the property on the market. The Morro Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) contacted the owner, had the property appraised, and then facilitated an option and purchase agreement between the owner and the Trust for Public Land (TPL). TPL is a non-profit organization which protects open space through acquisition. TPL's experiance with land deals and their ability to identify funding sources proved essential to the project. Raising the approximately $5.0 million needed to buy the property was a lengthy process, despite strong support from a number of agencies and non-profits. When the option was about to expire in March 2002 and the owner refused to extend it, the Packard Foundation gave TPL a low-interest loan so that they could buy and hold the property until the public funding was assembled. Meanwhile, several agencies were cobbling together monies from various sources to buy the land from TPL and transfer it to the State for permanent protection. The Wildlife Conservation Board, the Departmetn of Fish and Game, and the State Coastal Conservancy took the lead. Other major contributors included the California Resource Agency and the California Department of Transportation, which recognized the property's remarkable scenic value along Highway 1. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also supplied a grant critical to the final package. In May 2003, two years after the original option was signed, the State finally was able to buy the property from TPL, who had held it all this time. The property was re-named the "Chorro Creek Ecological Reserve".

Location Map: 
Cultural resources of CCER.pdf3.01 MB
Existing Conditions Report CCER.pdf1.35 MB
Existing Conditions Report CCER Appendix.pdf18.46 KB
Existing Conditions Report CCER Fig 1-19.pdf2.34 MB
Existing Conditions Report CCER Fig 20.jpg2.86 MB
Existing Conditions Report CCER Fig 21.jpg3.95 MB
Existing Conditions Report CCER Fig 22-31.pdf1 MB
ChorroCrkEcoRsv-ConceptualDesignRpt_FINAL.pdf4.78 MB