The county’s Multiple Species Conservation Program will receive a $5.1 million grant from the federal Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund to continue the planning and implementation of this open space preserve plan.
The grant, announced Oct. 10, enables states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other agencies to initiate conservation-planning efforts. It also allows states to acquire and protect habitats to support the conservation of threatened and endangered species.
About $184,000 will be spent on planning the East County portion of the MSCP, covering more than 1.5 million acres. The remainder of the grant will go for acquisition and conservation of land that would complement the MSCP preserve, and improve opportunities for wildlife and plants.
According to the county, the goal of the MSCP, which has preserved more than 90,000 acres, is to maintain and enhance biological diversity in the region, and boost the regional economy by streamlining the land-use permit process, benefiting landowners as well.