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Photo credit: Jerel Reeves. 2023.
The El Monte Preserve was purchased in 2016 by the Endangered Habitats Conservancy, a local nonprofit land trust, whose mission is to acquire, manage, monitor, and maintain land in Southern California for habitat protection and restoration, agricultural preservation, and other conservation purposes. Incorporated in 2005, EHC currently manages approximately 10,000 acres of conserved open space lands. These 10,000 acres, which includes the El Monte Preserve, are part of the overall 98,000-acre Preserve being assembled through implementation of the Multiple Species Conservation Program. Recon Environmental Inc. is a local biological consulting firm founded in 1972 that specializes in habitat restoration throughout San Diego County. Recon is the subcontractor for the project and is responsible for site preparation, cactus salvage, and general restoration expertise.
The MSCP is a regional habitat conservation planning effort designed to protect suites of plant and animal species through a
system of preserves in San Diego County. The MSCP's goal is for local governments to acquire and protect large blocks of land that provide connectivity and critical habitat for rare and endangered native plant and animal species. This innovative approach to
conservation, whereby suites of species are protected instead of a single species, supports fully functional and intact ecosystems that will be more resilient to climate change and major disturbances, such as fire.
The MSCP is implemented through local government subarea plans such as the County of San Diego Subarea Plan, adopted in 1997. The County Subarea Plan will protect over 98,000 acres of habitat, when fully implemented. As of 2020, almost 80,000 (81%) acres, which include the El Monte Preserve, had been conserved. Click here to read more about the County’s plan.