San Diego Gas & Electric, a unit of San Diego based Sempra Energy, said it donated a 66-acre parcel of land, in the Cleveland National Forest bordering a one mile stretch of Highway 79 known as the Descanso Junction, to the U.S. Forest Service.
The donated land protects part of the upper Sweetwater River watershed, and involves a strand of Engelmann oak trees that grow in the foothills of Southern California and are one of the rarest oak species in the United States, SDG&E said.
The land donation is one of more than a dozen properties the company is preserving as a result of its Sunrise Powerlink mitigation plan. The $1 billion power line transmits electrical power generated from wind and solar plants in Imperial County to San Diego.
Eventually, SDG&E will preserve about 11,000 acres, or more than 10 times the space that the transmission line’s construction disturbed, according to SDG&E.