James Cameron Sells 703-Acre Coastal Santa Monica Mountains Property

Friday, 25 Jul 2014, 8:56:00 AM

Staff Report

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority announced it closed escrow Thursday on a 703-acre property in the coastal Santa Monica Mountains purchased from Oscar-winning director James Cameron.

The $12 million purchase of the Cameron Nature Preserve in Puerco Canyon creates a contiguous block of public parkland from the 1,000-acre Corral Canyon Park at Pacific Coast Highway inland to the 7,000-acre Malibu Creek State Park, authority Executive Officer Joseph T. Edmiston said.

Funds for the purchase of the largest remaining privately owned open space in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County came from county and state sources.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky secured $6 million from the County Regional Open Space District and other funds to purchase the property, Edmiston said.

The State Wildlife Conservation Board contributed $4.5 million from the 2002 bond measure Proposition 50 and the State Coastal Conservancy contributed $1.5 million from the 2006 bond measure Proposition 84 and other funds, Edmiston said.

The purchase will allow the authority to develop a key segment of the Coastal Slope Trail, which stretches for 70 miles from Point Mugu Lagoon to Los Liones Canyon in Topanga State Park and has been in development for decades, Edmiston said.

The Puerco Canyon segment will connect to Corral Canyon Park and a future segment on Pepperdine University open space. Miles of existing trails will be available to the public when the parkland opens to the public in the fall.

"It was the visionary leadership of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Senator Fran Pavley, the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the California Coastal Conservancy and the generosity of Mr. Cameron that enabled the MRCA to permanently protect this extraordinary open space," Edmiston said.

"Local park agencies have hoped to protect this land for many years. Our State and local leadership has guaranteed that this critical open space will be accessible for future generations.”

Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, called securing the Puerco Canyon property the "key to connecting open space for the enjoyment of recreation and preservation of critical habitat supporting native plants and wildlife."

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