Hermes copper butterfly.
Hermes copper butterfly was hailed in 1927 by John A. Comstock, who said: “It will always be a rarity, and may, in fact, some day become extinct, if San Diego continues to expand at its present rate.” Photo via Wikimedia Commons

County supervisors Wednesday set a June 26 public hearing for the possible purchase of 267 acres in Jamul that would be used for conservation.

The board will vote on the proposed land purchase after the hearing. The property, appraised at nearly $1.07 million, is considered a key wildlife linkage and home to the Hermes copper butterfly.

Under a proposed agreement, the county would pay $602,080, while the remaining $465,920 would come from the nonprofit Endangered Habitats Conservancy via a grant. Total county costs, including staff time, are estimated at $829,080.

In related news, the Board of Supervisors also unanimously approved the annual Multiple Species Conservation Plan report.

The plan, first enacted in 1998, has resulted in the acquisition of 22,000 acres by the county.

According to the report, 705 acres of habitat were added to the subarea plan preserve last year, increasing it to 78,565 acres. The 2018 habitat gains include 349 acres, along with 89 acres of federal and state acquisitions, and 267 acres of land from private development projects.

Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob praised the county Parks and Recreation Department for its efforts on long-term conservation.

“These open space lands provide recreational access for communities,” Jacob said. “A job well done, and we’re only 21 years into a 50- year plan.”

— City News Service