The Conservancy recently completed a four-party property exchange which has resulted in a number of benefits for species covered under the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan. The transaction involved trading acreage owned by the Conservancy in excess of that needed to meet its mitigation needs in exchange for two parcels of land in the Conservancy’s Fisherman’s Lake Reserve Area (Rosa East and Rosa West). This part of the Natomas Basin has seen low giant garter snake counts, making this Fisherman’s Lake-side acquisition all that more important to the Conservancy’s mitigation efforts. Moreover, the newly-acquired property resides in the Swainson’s Hawk Zone, which supplements habitat for the hawk in the southerly portion of the Basin.
The Conservancy acquired just over 206 acres west of Fisherman’s Lake in its acquisition of the Rosa East and Rosa West tracts. The properties had been discussed as potentially developable, but as a result of the property exchange, are today owned by the Conservancy. Together with other properties in the Fisherman’s Lake Reserve Area, the Conservancy now owns a total of approximately 464 acres in this Reserve Area.
The Conservancy exchanged approximately 139 acres of its Sills tract, particlarly that area that is adjacent to the interchange of U.S. Highway 99 and Elverta Road, for the two Rosa tracts. The area is targeted for an interchange expansion with the development of Metro Air Park, and the Sacramento International Airport has disclosed plans for an ultimate north entrance off of Elverta Road. Of the 139 acres exchanged, the Conservancy withheld a conservation easement on approximately 12 acres along the westerly border of the tract, and an approximately 5.5-acre access easement along the easterly boundary of the property.
In addition to the above-mentioned benefits to the Conservancy, there is also the matter of greater reserve consolidation. The Conservancy believes that greater reserve consolidation will offer enhanced value to the species covered in the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservantion Plan. The properties will also be more easily managed and face less intrusion and disturbance.
The acquisition brings the Conservancy’s total land holdings to approximately 3,700 acres.