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Fallbrook Land Conservancy in 2023: Another Good Year

FALLBROOK – The mission of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy (FLC) is to acquire, protect, and manage open space in perpetuity for the benefit of wildlife and the community. This past year, FLC, which has been working on this mission for 35 years, continued to make significant progress.

In October, the FLC expanded its holdings into San Marcos with the acquisition of 217.5 acres known as the San Marcos Highlands Open Space Preserve. The preserve has about two miles of hiking trails and connects to a larger trail system managed by the city of San Marcos. The vegetation is predominantly Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub, ideal habitat for the California gnatcatcher, a threatened species.

The San Marcos acquisition brings the land holdings of FLC to 3,186 acres on 28 different preserves. In addition, FLC holds conservation easements that prohibit development on 956 acres and manages 159 acres of conservation land for San Diego State University and the County of San Diego.

Future acquisitions are in process and expected to be completed in 2024. These include 191 acres of open space with trails adjacent to the Horse Creek Ridge development in the Monserate Mountain area, east of Interstate 15 and north of State Highway 76. With the Acquisition of the Horse Creek Ridge property, FLC will have a total of 669 acres of permanently protected land on Monserate Mountain.

Most of FLC's preserves are open to the public and provide opportunities for hiking, bird watching and other activities. FLC 's professional staff works to maintain and protect the valuable natural resources on the preserves including threatened plants and animals that may be present. The staff receives valuable assistance in maintaining trails and restoring native plants from volunteers on the Trails and Native Plant Restoration committees.

Over the years, many native trees have been planted on FLC preserves by the Save Our Forest (SOF) group, which has played a major role in the greening of Fallbrook by planting thousands of trees in the downtown Fallbrook area. SOF has also established a highly successful program which educates elementary school children on the importance of native trees and plants and sponsors plantings on FLC preserves every year.

All these projects require equipment and a place to store it. Thanks to a grant from the County of San Diego, at the recommendation of Supervisor Desmond, FLC recently constructed a new storage barn on the Palomares Property, adjacent to the historic Palomares House. Across the parking lot from the Palomares House is the Wildlife Sculpture Garden, a one-acre garden with one of the largest collections of sculptures of native wildlife in Southern California.

The Palomares property is also the site of Stagecoach Sunday, FLC's annual celebration which in early October attracts hundreds of people from Fallbrook and surrounding communities to ride the historic stagecoach, learn about native plants and animals, and just have a good time.

To learn more about the FLC, make a donation, or sign up to volunteer, visit


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