Wilson Valley

Area: 1,120 acres

Location: Unincorporated area of Aguanga, Riverside County, California

Date Acquired: 2004

Acquisition Type: CNLM holds a conservation easement as well as a long-term agreement to protect the imperiled species and their habitats on the preserve. The preserve is owned by third party.

Key Habitats: Coastal Sage Scrub, Chamise Redshank Chaparral and CA Annual and Perennial Grassland.

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica),  Stephens’ kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi) and Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino).


Small Mammal Trapping at Wilson Valley

The Wilson Valley Preserve was established by a private landowner as a mitigation bank between 2000 and 2003.  This Preserve was created to compensate for incidental take of habitat supporting the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) and federally endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi) and Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino). All available credits have been sold and the bank is closed. Much of the property surrounding the Wilson Valley Preserve is open space owned and managed by various local and federal land management agencies. A short distance to the south, the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) also manages the 890-acre Wilson Creek Preserve.

Conservation Significance

This Preserve is comprised of 1120 acres of coastal sage scrub and chamise and redshank chaparral habitat and includes a small vernal wash that supports desert willow woodland before opening to a sandy wash. An unusual variant of Riversidian sage scrub dominates the site supporting desert species such as jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera), hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engalmanii), and more typical sage scrub species. Patches of chamise chaparral and redshank chaparral grow along the ridges. Other sensitive species utilizing this habitat include cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), Bell’s sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli belli), rufous-crowned sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps), and mountain lion (Puma concolor). Biological monitoring is conducted in the Preserve to document these and other threatened and endangered species.

Our Work

CNLM’s primary management goal for this Preserve is to maintain moderate to high quality habitat for federal- and state-listed and sensitive species found on-site. Because the Preserve already supports and is surrounded by a healthy sage scrub community, much of our work involves monitoring the abundance of native species, controlling nonnative plants, and studying the unique ecology of this diverse habitat.

Wilson Valley in SpringPublic Access

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


For information and inquiries regarding Wilson Valley or Center for Natural Lands Management,  please contact Regional Preserve Manager, Kim Klementowski at  kklementowski@cnlm.org or 760.731.7790 extension 208.