For immediate release
Date: May 24, 2021
Contact: Debra Chase, CEO, Mountain Lion Foundation
916-442-2666 ext. 103
Carmel Area State Parks adds over 1600 acres for mountain lions!
Thanks to public support and the 6-0 vote of the California Parks and Recreation Commission, we now have 1200 more acres in natural preserve for mountain lions!
Sacramento, CA – On Friday, May 21, 2021, the California Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the Carmel Area State Parks General Plan which included the creation of a New State Park consisting of 1604 acres which incorporates the Hatton Canyon and Point Lobos Ranch properties.
The New State Park will be called Ishxenta (Eesh-hen-ta) State Park, reflecting the original name given to the area from the Rumsen people whose presence substantially predates Spanish and Euro-Americans settlement.
Ishxenta State Park consists of two new Natural Preserves, recognizing the Point Lobos Ranch was purchased with Proposition 117 Mountain Lion Initiative funds. The Natural Preserve sub-classification is one of the highest levels of protection State Parks has for areas of special biological significance.
“Having worked on the Carmel Area State Park General Plan since 2012 it is exceptional to see some of California’s most unique and rare habitat types preserved for mountain lions and for the people of California,” stated Stephen Bachman, California Senior Park & Recreation Specialist.
“The Mountain Lion Foundation championed passage of Proposition 117 in 1990, which outlawed the sport hunting of mountain lions in California and also created the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) to acquire, enhance, or restore specified types of lands for wildlife or open space,” said Debra Chase, CEO of the Mountain Lion Foundation, “It is great to see these funds being put to good use to protect critical mountain lion habitat.”
The Point Lobos Ranch Property preserves and protects a scenic, naturally sensitive, and culturally important landscape, including high-elevation vistas offering spectacular views of Carmel Bay and the coastline. The land supports one of the world’s largest intact native Monterey pine forests, globally significant populations of the rare Gowen cypress, and other rare maritime chaparral habitat.
“We are losing far too much lion habitat to human encroachment and habitat fragmentation, it is critically important that we are intentional in our conservation and preservation of biodiversity, particularly as we face the unknowns of climate change,” said Chris Bachman, Region 1 Conservation Advocate for the Mountain Lion Foundation.
- The Point Lobos Ranch acquisition was purchased using Proposition 117 California Wildlife Protection Act Funds. As such the Proposition, Chapter 9, Article 1, (2780 (a)), emphasizes the protection, enhancement, and restoration of wildlife habitat. The proposition allows for “recreational use”. The Proposition recognized the urgent need to protect the rapidly disappearing wildlife habitats that support California’s unique and varied wildlife resources.
- Section 2781 emphasizes the need to maintain state acquired lands in open space and natural conditions to protect significant environmental values of wildlife and native plant habitat, riparian and wetland areas, native oak woodlands.
- Section 2786(b) specifically mentions the funds are to be used for the acquisition of habitat to protect rare, endangered, threatened or fully protected species.
Founded in 1986, the Mountain Lion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure that America’s lion survives and flourishes in the wild.