Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Supervisors approve grant application for San Luis Rey River Park

The State of California's Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP) provides up to $7 million annually in grants to government agencies and non-profit organizations to mitigate the environmental impacts of transportation facilities. On June 29, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0, with Bill Horn absent, to authorize the county's Department of Parks and Recreation to apply for $750,000 of EEMP grant funds to acquire acreage for the future San Luis Rey River Park.

"Our master plan for the San Luis Rey River Park is a good match for the EEMP resources," said Department of Parks and Recreation group program manager Deborah Mosley. "If we receive the grant we'll be in a position to protect an additional 37 acres of riparian and wetland habitats along (State Route) 76."

The current owner of the 37.18 acres is willing to sell, so the county will conduct its land acquisition procedures. Once a formal sales agreement is reached, the purchase will return to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

The estimated cost for the county to acquire the land is $1.6 million, and the county will use Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) funding for the cost not covered by the EEMP grant (or for the entire cost should the county not receive the state grant). The county's 2016-17 budget includes $10 million for MSCP land acquisition.

EEMP funding can be used for the acquisition or enhancement of resource lands to mitigate the loss or detriment of resource lands within or near right-of-way acquired for transportation purposes, and the impacts of the widening of State Route 76 make the future San Luis Rey River Park eligible for such funding. The California Natural Resources Agency announced the release of this year's applications and guidelines in April.

Although the exact boundaries of the San Luis Rey River Park are still to be determined since land will be acquired only from willing sellers, the park is expected to encompass 1,600 acres and have a length of nine miles. More than 500 acres of land have already been acquired.


Reader Comments(0)