Acres: 80 acres

Location: City of Vista, San Diego County

Date Acquired: 2016

Acquisition Type:  CNLM owns a portion of the preserve and holds a conservation easement over a small portion of it.  We are responsible for the stewardship and protection of the preserve.

Key Habitats: Coastal Sage Scrub, Nonnative Grassland, Coast Live Oak Woodland

Species of Special Interest to CNLM:  Orange-throat whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra), Southern mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and  Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica)


The Sugarbush Habitat Conservation Area (HCA) was created in July 2016, when the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) received title to this property from Meritage Homes as part of their mitigation requirement for the Sugarbush/Quintessa Development. The 80 acre site is located about one mile south of the intersection of Sugarbush Drive and Buena Creek Road in Vista, California.  CNLM owns most of the HCA, but also manages approximately 1 acre via the terms of a Conservation Easement.

Conservation Significance

This Preserve is primarily comprised of coastal sage scrub, nonnative grassland, and coastal live oak woodland. It supports coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and other sensitive species.

Our Work

The primary management goal is to protect this property as it is within a very urban matrix.  Staff conduct frequent patrols to assess any trespass or other unwanted activities.  Staff are also restoring nonnative grasslands to oak woodland and coastal sage scrub.  Monitoring is primarily focused on the sensitive species which occur on the property.

Public Access

Due to the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this Preserve, it is not open to the public.


Fore information about Sugarbush or Center for Natural Lands Management, please contact Preserve Manager, Steve Rink at 760.731.7790 extension 212 or email