The Escondido Creek Conservancy (TECC) is a non-profit, public benefit, corporation, incorporated in 1991, dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of the natural open space within the Escondido Creek watershed. Photo via Escondidocreek.org
The Escondido Creek Conservancy (TECC) is a non-profit, public benefit, corporation, incorporated in 1991, dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of the natural open space within the Escondido Creek watershed. Photo via Escondidocreek.org

Updated 2:42 p.m. Oct. 22, 2014

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval Wednesday to the purchase of about 345 acres of open land west of Escondido for $4 million.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob said the acquisition would “help preserve important habitat” as part of the county’s Multi-Species Conservation Program. “It will also provide a suitable connection for the trans-county trail and future trails for the city of Poway.”

About 240 acres is in the Escondido Creek Preserve near Harmony Grove Road, which is part of a network of preserves that consist of about 1,400 acres.

The area is a California gnatcatcher habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the bird as a threatened species in 1993 due to development of its habitat.

In addition to the purchase price, about $300,000 will be spent on surveys, installing signs, erosion control, vegetation management and staff salaries.

The rest of the open space, about 100 acres, is part of the Goodan Ranch Preserve, west of state Route 67 near Poway. The land was appraised at $810,000, and about a quarter of the cost will be covered by a state Habitat Conservation Fund grant.

“It will also provide a suitable connection for the trans-county trail and future trails for the city of Poway,” Jacob said of the Goodan Ranch land.

The trans-county trail is a series of walking paths that run between Torrey Pines State Beach and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The county is working with five other agencies to connect the trail’s various segments.

A final hearing on the purchases was scheduled for Dec. 3.

—City News Service

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