Issue: Wild Lands
Partner: California Wilderness Coalition
Airport Origin : Murrieta, CA
Create a virtual tour with CalWild that will feature rare wild places among the suburban development of Southern California, including San Mateo Creek Canyon, Santa Margarita River, and Beauty Mountain. Recent political shifts have made it more feasible to legislatively protect these wild places in northern San Diego County and southwestern Riverside County. The virtual tour will be used to showcase these wildlands and raise awareness and support among the public.
San Mateo Canyon Creek flows through the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness and is considered one of the most pristine coastal streams remaining in southern California. The creek is the southern-most stream in California that still supports endangered southern steelhead trout. It’s tributary, Devil Canyon Creek, is home to three rare plants. The Forest Service found the creek eligible for Wild & Scenic River protection.
The Santa Margarita River flows southwest from the town of Temecula through parcels of public land managed by the BLM, California State University San Diego, and the Santa Margarita River Trail Preserve. The river is targeted for the restoration of the endangered southern steelhead. The Preserve Trail was voted the top trail of the best 50 trails in San Diego County.
The Beauty Mountain Wilderness is located in the transition zone between the Southern California Mountains and Sonoran Basin and Range Ecoregions. This desert-like area produces an exceptional wildflower display. The area also provides important habitat for the endangered California gnatcatcher (a bird) and the Quino checkerspot butterfly. The area also includes a segment of the popular California Riding and Hiking Trail. Established in 2009, the 15,627-acre wilderness did not include more than 14,000 acres of adjacent roadless lands in San Diego County.
Together, these wild places offer a wide variety of human powered outdoor recreation opportunities for residents of local communities. Constituents of Representatives Levin, Calvert, and Issa spend more than $5 billion a year in on outdoor recreation, which supports more than 200 local outdoor recreation oriented businesses. Outdoor recreation is important to the Latino community. The population of Riverside and San Diego County are about 45% and 31% Latino (respectively).