Members Present: Jerry Harmon, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, and Rick Mercurio

Purpose of Land Acquisition Committee

A major purpose of acquiring land adjacent to and nearby the Daley Ranch Preserve is to minimize edge effects of development. Daley Ranch is an important asset for the City of Escondido and its quality of life; inappropriate nearby development may jeopardize the value of the City’s asset. Acquiring adjacent land can improve the connectivity of valuable habitat, creating wildlife corridors and improved public access for uses compatible with a wildlife preserve.

Specific properties “of interest” around the Daley Ranch Preserve

  1. The acreage at the northwest corner of Daley Ranch identified in an email from Kit Wilson. This land is generally steep but could provide excellent connectivity to open lands to the west.

  2. The “Doane parcel” of 80 acres directly west of Daley Ranch. This land has similar habitat as most of the ranch and could provide connecting trails.

  3. The “North Link” parcel directly north of Daley Ranch. This land has some “disturbed areas” such as avocado groves, but could serve as a link to the Turner Lake open space.

  4. Some parcels near the Deer Park Buddhist Monastery and the private property to the north and west of Deer Park near the home of the Scruggs. These lands are threatened with development and creative use of open space easements or possible purchase could protect them.

  5. The Von Seggren property near Lake Wohlford. The land is considerably disturbed but could provide great connectivity between Daley Ranch and the open spaces to the east via City of Escondido owned land just east of Valley Center Road.

Next Steps

The Committee would like to invite Geoffrey Smith, Executive Director of the Escondido Creek Conservancy, to share his knowledge and expertise of strategies for land acquisition and open space preservation. The committee also would like to investigate the County of San Diego’s policies on open space easements and other government tools to protect habitat in the context of new development.