Condor 300

Just a few months after the announcement that the population of wild condors in Central California has reached 100, there’s more good news for the iconic bird that had nearly become extinct a few decades ago. 

A new Monterey County-based land trust has purchased 300 acres of undeveloped land in Carmel Valley near Los Padres National Forest, vowing to preserve the area in perpetuity. 

It is the first acquisition for the Conservancy for the Range of the Condor. The hilly, oak- and madrone-studded property is accessible from Tassajara Road with a viewshed encompassing peaks, valleys and ocean. 

The land trust bought the property from the Monterey Bay Chinese Association, which had been gifted the land by Peter and Grace Wang. 

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“Our efforts in acquiring land are not just about habitat, to directly benefit specific species,” Range of the Condor Executive Director Don Gruber said in a statement. 

He pointed to the importance of open land for the effort to address the climate crisis. “We believe that it is imperative to find and protect large areas of land that do nothing but exist in a natural state, as a piece of the larger, systemic demand for carbon balance,” he said. “Communities of humans need to develop with this consideration in mind, to learn to value such open space beyond its recreational potential, and see it as the true heart of the world in which we tentatively live.”

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Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers higher education, the military, the environment, public lands and the geographic areas of Seaside, Monterey, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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