With the final 200 acres, the acquisition of Warm Springs Ranch near Murrieta is complete.
This complex transaction was started by the Western Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency in 2011 and, after nine phases, all 960 acres are now protected. Only with early financial commitments by the Riverside County Transportation Commission and County of Riverside did the acquisition get off the ground. This rare, gentle low elevation coastal sage scrub adds greatly to the biological value of the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP), and connects to a regional linkage along Interstate 15. The California gnatcatcher and quino checkerspot butterfly both benefit.
Prior to the adoption of the MSHCP, the City of Murrieta approved many sprawl projects that decimated coastal sage scrub. However, Warm Springs Ranch survived intact due to the famous Clydesdale horses raised there by the Anheuser Busch brewing company, which eventually agreed to a conservation sale instead of pursuing development. This is an important achievement.