San Diego Gas & Electric donated 448 acres between El Cajon Mountain and the El Capitan Reservoir, known as the Oak Ridge Ranch, to the U.S. Forest Service.
In addition to protecting native Engelmann oak trees on the land, the move also gives protection to an area used by golden eagles to nest and supports the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher, and various sensitive plants, said SDG&E, a unit of San Diego based Sempra Energy.
“This acquisition is a vital part of our land conservation efforts that will forever preserve more than 11,000 acres of critical ecosystems throughout San Diego and Imperial County,” said J. Chris Baker, SDG&E senior vice president.
The donation is part of the company’s state sanctioned mitigation program of property donations because of the building of the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line that moves electrical power from wind and solar plants in Imperial County to San Diego. The $1.9 billion project was completed in 2012.
SDG&E recently announced the donation of a 66-acre parcel of land, in the Cleveland National Forest to the U.S. Forest Service.