San Diego power company donation to preserve ecosystem

January 8, 2014 by  

This year the Engelmann oak tree’s future looks a little brighter thanks to San Diego Gas & Electric(SDG&E).

The utility company made a donation of 448 acres of land to the U.S. Forest Service. The property between the El Cajon Mountains and the El Capitan Reservoir will serve as a nature preserve. This will help protect Engelman oaks, which have a native habitat that is limited to the narrow stretch of land that runs along the mountain foothills of Baja California, Mexico and South California.

The Engelman species of oak tree is an example of an indicator species, meaning the health of the ecosystem around it can be estimated accurately by how these oaks are faring. Other species will benefit from the new preserve as well. The 448 acres known as Oak Ridge Ranch is also a “front yard” to golden eagles nesting in the El Capitan area. Additionally it is home to several sensitive species of plants such as the San Diego milkvetch and the Moreno currant, as well as supporting the coastal California gnatcatcher.

This latest land donation is one of many in SDG&E’s preservation strategy to negate impacts on sensitive vegetation, and species that the Sunrise Powerlink may have affected. The company plans to preserving over 11,000 acres throughout Imperial and San Diego County. These land conservation efforts will also enhance the scenic value for anyone wishing to explore the area. The U.S. Forest Service offers a variety of printed materials and brochure printers are continually being contracted to keep the public informed with new information.