On April 1, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors authorized funds for acquisition of 79 acres in unincorporated Alameda County north of Livermore known as Eddie’s Flat, at its appraised value of $550,000.
“This is a marvelous addition to Brushy Peak,” said Park District Board President Ayn Wieskamp. “Protection of this land will help to maintain open space, protect and restore endangered species habitat, provide opportunities for trail connections from Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, and will keep Brushy Peak in view for all along Vasco Road.”
“This also is notable because the acquisition will be 100% funded by grants from three outside parties: Altamont Landfill and Resource Facility Open Space Grant Funding, $250,000; Livermore’s Doughtery Valley Settlement Agreement Fund, $250,000; and Alameda County Surplus Property Authority Staples Ranch Mitigation Agreement Fund,$ 50,000,” she said.
The first Murray Township acquisition for Brushy Peak Regional Preserve since the Farber acquisition in September, 2011, this addition will be part of a 28,000 acre combined wildlife corridor within the Alameda Creek Watershed and the Livermore Vernal Pool Region, adjacent to the western edge of Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. Eddie’s Flat provides a contiguous connection to the preserved open space of Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, the Livermore Area Recreation District, Contra Costa Water District’s Los Vaqueros Reservoir watershed lands and the Vasco Caves, Vasco Hills and Byron Vernal Pools Regional Preserves. It is currently comprised primarily of non-native grasslands and has historically been utilized for cattle grazing.
The Resource Conservation Plan and the East Alameda County Conservation Strategy have identified an Alkali Sink vegetation community in the southeastern portion, and this may provide valuable habitat for special-status wildlife species in the area. These species include animals such as longhorn fairy shrimp, golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, Cooper ’s hawk, California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, burrowing owl, and San Joaquin kit fox; and plants such as Palmate-bracted bird’s-beak, Livermore tar plant, and San Joaquin spearscale.
Additional benefits include extending the Altamont Hills wildlife corridor, and possible future restoration of Altamont Creek.
The Board also included $10,500 from the Murray Township General Fund toward the acquisition costs, for a total of $620,375. The purchase is scheduled to be completed by May, 2014. The property will be placed into land bank status, and will be open to the public after an amendment to the Brushy Peak Regional Preserve land use plan is approved, and necessary improvements are made.
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