Local Land Conservancy Forms in the Anza Valley
A new Land Conservancy has been formed to address conservation needs in and around the Anza Valley. Known as “The High Country Conservancy”, the organization is dedicated to promoting the wise use of land and water resources that lead to sustainable outcomes for preservation of habitat, cultural values, farmland and quality of life for our local residents in the area. “We hope to achieve these goals by conserving lands through acquisition, obtaining conservation easements, monitoring, rehabilitation and stewardship of such lands and by providing outreach and education to the public” said Marea Stinnett-Levine, President of the newly formed conservancy.
The Anza Valley falls within a “gap” area, with neighboring conservancies, land trusts and parks that do not have much concern or understanding for the conservation issues in and around Anza. “We are a local grassroots organization concerned with addressing issues and protecting our way of life right here in our own back yard” said Stinnett-Levine. “THCC is dedicated to developing flexible relationships with landowners to determine the most cost effective and sustainable conservation outcomes of mutual benefit” she said.
THCC is currently working with the Hamilton Museum, as one of seven local organizations that make up the Anza Community Beautification & Garden Projects committee, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, to develop a native botanical garden on the grounds at the Hamilton Museum & Ranch Foundation. The president of THCC volunteered time and effort to procure a small $2,000 grant for the Museum and this project from the USFWS. This ongoing program is providing outreach and education through volunteer participation in the garden’s development. Upon completion, the native plant garden will provide a place for the public to interact and learn about the local environment. “These are just baby steps, that can lead the way for cooperative community involvement and increased appreciation of this wonderful valley we live in.” said Stinnett-Levine. THCC will seek funding through donations and gifts, fundraisers, memberships, grants, government entities and institutions.
Land is one of America’s most important and valuable resources. Conserving our land helps ensure clean air and drinking water, food security, cultural values, scenic landscapes and views, recreational places, and habitat for the diversity of wildlife in the area. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form conservancies to save the places they love. Community leaders in these conservancies across the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 37 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about. Strong, well-managed land trusts and conservancies provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
Formed by community members for the community and incorporated in November of 2010, The High Country Conservancy is a private 501(c)(3) proposed nonprofit organization. THCC will work with willing landowners and conservation partners to protect our waters and preserve our lands. “With the help of the community, we feel confident in achieving these extremely important outcomes” said Stinnett-Levine. For more information call 951-541-4503 or go to www.thccanza.org.