Anza-Borrego Foundation has helped protect the California desert for 50 years

Dropping into Southern California’s Anza-Borrego State Park from a twisting ride down Montezuma Valley Road, you get the sense Anza-Borrego is a world unto itself.

A world of ancient fossils and mysterious mirages, lush palm oases and hidden waterfalls, ocotillo forests, remote hiking trails and captivating wildlife from tarantulas and chuckwalla lizards to golden eagles and desert bighorn sheep, or borrego.

With help from several partnerships, donations and state and federal funds, the Anza-Borrego Foundation has been working to make that world whole – procuring about 54,000 acres in the last half-century.

About 67,000 acres of private parcels within the park, known as inholdings, existed when the foundation was formed to acquire inholdings or adjacent land to help preserve the desert, wildlife habitat and cultural heritage. There are still 20,000 acres of inholdings that could be acquired to complete California’s largest state park.

The foundation’s new acquisitions increase the amount of protected desert, which means more land for wildlife and more protection there for the Pacific Crest Trail corridor and the viewshed from the trail.

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