California: 2,800 acres of oak woodlands in San Rafael Wilderness Area foothills protected

Nearly 2,800 acres of largely oak woodlands in the San Rafael Wilderness Area foothills will be protected permanently with the finalization of a conservation easement on the Midland School property, Santa Ynez Valley. The Trust for Public Land, Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and Midland have been seeking state grants and local donations to establish an enduring conservation strategy for the school property.

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Midland School is a coeducational, college preparatory boarding school
for grades 9-12 which combines rigorous academics with intensive
immersion in the environment. “Placing a conservation easement on
Midland’s property is consistent with the original precepts on which
the school was founded back in 1932, including environmental
protection and education,” said Nick Alexander, President of the
Midland Board of Trustees.”

At Midland, we teach our students the value of scholarship, self-reliance, simplicity and environmental stewardship, all of which instill a sense of responsibility to self, to others, and to our world,” he added.

The conservation easement was purchased with contributions from the Wildlife Conservation Board’s Oak Woodland Conservation Fund and the California Transportation Commission’s Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP).

Approximately 80 percent of the land being preserved through theconservation easement are blue, coast live and valley oak woodlands. The EEMP funds were approved to help mitigate oak removals that occurred when the Highway 101/154 Interchange was constructed in 2000.

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