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Placer County agrees to buy 400 acres for permanent conservation

Placer County Supervisors approve $5.29 million deal

Auburn, CA,- Nearly 400 acres of grasslands just east of Sheridan will be permanently conserved following recent approval by the Placer County Board of Supervisors of a $5.29 million deal to buy the land.

Known as the Bradley property, the land has been used for seasonal cattle grazing for generations and is rich with biologically-sensitive vernal pools and marshlands that are a high priority for preservation.
Purchasing the property helps accomplish the Placer Legacy Program's open space conservation goals and will jump start implementation of the Placer County Conservation Program.

The PCCP is a progressive and proactive strategy for identifying where development should occur in western Placer County while preserving important natural and agricultural resources. If approved, it would streamline federal, state and local permitting at the local level, while ensuring that land conservation required as mitigation under those permits would be effective and located in Placer County. A draft of the program and its environmental impact report are expected to be available for public review later this year.

"Preserving our natural and agricultural heritage is critical to maintaining the quality of life and rural character we are so fortunate to enjoy in Placer County," said District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. "Conserving this special place, and many more like it, is tremendously important for balancing the growth in Placer County still to come."

The board also approved a three-year, $658,992 agreement with Westervelt Ecological Services LLC to manage, study and improve the property's habitats. In a related item, the board directed county staff to continue negotiations with Westervelt to buy a conservation easement for nearly 300 acres west of Lincoln. Purchasing land and conservation easements from willing sellers are both important strategies for eventually conserving approximately 47,000 acres of open space called for under the PCCP.

Under the conditions of the Bradley property purchase, seasonal grazing would continue in line with a current grazing lease. Westervelt will be responsible for managing grazing and monitoring and maintaining the property's vernal pools, wetlands and other habitat types, home to a number of species listed by the state and federal governments as threatened.

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