Area: Approximately 10,000 acres
Location: Riverside County, California
Date Acquired: August 2019
Acquisition Type: CNLM has a long-term agreement with landowner or third party.CNLM has a long-term agreement with landowner or third party.
Key Habitats: Annual grassland, native grassland, Chaparral, Freshwater aquatic/wetland, Engelmann oak woodlands, Vernal pools
Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Santa Rosa basalt brodiaea (Brodiaea santarosae), Santa Rosa Plateau fairy shrimp (Linderiella santarosae), Vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchii)
Due to the extensive wildfire in September 2019, the Reserve is currently closed to the public. For more information on the Visitor Center and public access, please click link: https://www.rivcoparks.org/santa-rosa-plateau-ecological-reserve/
The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is owned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Riverside County Regional Park and Open‐Space District (RCP). Other properties that are part of the Plateau Lands are owned by RCP. The reserve is jointly managed by the Center for Natural Lands Management, the Nature Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The RCP is responsible for management related to public access, including public outreach, trail maintenance and environmental, historical, and cultural interpretive and educational activities on the all the Reserve and Plateau Lands. CDFW holds conservation easements on some Plateau Lands. The purpose of the conservation easements is to help ensure that the property will be retained in perpetuity in open space condition and to prevent use of the property that will impair or interfere with the conservation values of the Preserve.
CNLM (under contract since August 2019) is the Manager for the Reserve, responsible for professional stewardship of the diverse conservation values and working with the agency partners towards protection of the natural resources and providing for public access that is safe, compatible with conservation, and provides an important connection with nature.
The primary purpose of the Reserve is to provide long-term protection for valuable biological resources, specifically oak woodlands and grasslands containing vernal pools, and riparian areas containing tenajas (natural in‐stream pools which retain water). The Plateau Lands support large areas of rare Engelmann oak woodland, native grassland and vernal pool complexes with reasonably intact hydrology. Combined with large areas of high‐quality chaparral, the habitat mosaic provides excellent habitat for wide‐ranging species such as mountain lions and mule deer. The vernal pools support several rare south coast vernal pool species including the endemic Santa Rosa Plateau fairy shrimp (Linderiella santarosae) and the southern-most population of the vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchii). The Ecological Reserve is one of the 134 ecological reserves in California that were designated and are protected by the State of California.
Additionally, the Plateau Lands offer wildlife-compatible recreational and educational opportunities for the public, opportunities for research and scientific study, as well as the protection of important historical and cultural resources. The Plateau Lands are home to the oldest buildings still standing in Riverside County, the Moreno and Machado Adobes, built in the mid‐1840s.
Public trails for hiking and equestrian use are provided on the Reserve but limited to specific areas. However, due to the extensive wildfire in September 2019, the Reserve is currently closed to the public. For more information on the Visitor Center and public access, please click link: https://www.rivcoparks.org/santa-rosa-plateau-ecological-reserve/
For information about the Santa Rosa Plateau or the Center for Natural Lands Management, please contact Hailey Laskey, Preserve Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760.731.7790 extension 225