Solano County faces powerful development pressures, perhaps more than any other Bay Area county. The Sky Valley-Cordelia Hills Open Space Project, a unique partnership between the nonprofit Solano Land Trust (SLT), the cities of Benicia, Fairfield, and Vallejo, and Solano County, is charged with preserving 10,000 acres of land in the foothills between Fairfield and Vallejo as permanent open space. Recently, with funding from the Coastal Conservancy and several municipal entities, this partnership acquired two parcels totaling 1,575 acres—the King Ranch and Eastern Swett Ranch. This classic California landscape—grassland interspersed with oak woodlands, wetlands, and riparian areas—is home to the federally endangered California red-legged frog, the state-listed Swainson’s hawk, golden eagles, short-eared owls, and several rare native plant species, such as Tiburon buckwheat. For more information on the Sky Valley-Cordelia Hills Open Space Project or to learn about visiting the open space through docent-led tours sponsored by SLT, visit www.solanolandtrust.org or contact Jennifer Kaiser at (707) 747-0701. Lynch Canyon Regional Open Space—just north of I-80, between Vallejo and Cordelia—is another component of the Open Space Project. This past November, the members and supporters of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council gathered there to dedicate the latest addition to its projected 400-mile ridge trail around the Bay Area. The Ridge Trail Council celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and will kick off the festivities at San Francisco’s Crissy Field Center on February 6 with a book talk by Jean Rusmore, author of The Official Guide to the Bay Area Ridge Trail (Wilderness Press, 2002). Visit www.ridgetrail.org or call (415) 561-2595 for more details.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ January-March 2003