San Jacinto WA Addition?

spectr17

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I read somewhere, maybe Western Outdoor NEws, that the San Jacinto Wildlife Area had been expanded by a land purchase of several hundred acres. The new land was basically the rest of Mystic Lake. The only drawback was that DU would take a year or two to get the additional 20 or 30 blinds ready. Anybody know anything about this?
 

Chessie

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Hey Spectr17, in the WON it was printed that SJWA did purchase about 500 acres.  I believe it was the duck club right next to where you park when it's a "rain" day.  If you've been out there and made the long walk you know what I'm talking about.  I was told at the end of last year that they will try to have it ready, but if you know anything about SJWA it won't be ready.  Also, because Mystic needs alot of rain water to keep it filled, if we don't get any rain for the summer look for the Mystic blinds to be gone.  As it was, last year they went from 5 to 3.  Most likely we'll be looking at another slow season out there.  
 

spectr17

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Thanks Chessie. I figured that club was part of the addition since it's been up for sale for years. Now if we could just get some rain to fill it up.
 

Chessie

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Hey Spectr17, I spent some time searching the web and found a news release on the DFG website, it says

"San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Expansions 14-19, Riverside County, ($16.8 million) – Approved a cooperatively funded project for the acquisition of 274.5 acres of private land as an addition to DFG's San Jacinto Wildlife Area., and also acquired five separate properties totaling more than 1,000 acres of vacant land as an expansion to the wildlife area. The area is located in western Riverside County near Moreno Valley, and will further develop the wildlife area, protect endangered species, and be a buffer area for the existing wildlife area."  Wonder if we'll get any hunting area out of it.
 

spectr17

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Good detective work Chessie, I looked around the DFG site I wasn't able to find any info. I hope we can hunt that new land too. I'm curious which parcels they bought and need to do some digging to find out. Just east of there by the concrete plant a buddy saw a big buck in there quail hunting. You don't see many deer out there but there are a few.
 

Chessie

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Spectr17, I did some more searching and found this on the DFG website.  It came from the Meeting Agenda of the Wildlife Conservation Board which met on 5/18/01.  Here is agenda #'s 30-31.

"30. San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Expansion 14, Riverside County $1,707,500.00

This proposal is to consider the acquisition of 274± acres of private land as an addition to
the Department of Fish and Game’s San Jacinto Wildlife Area (SJWA), for the expansion
of and protection to, the wetland areas surrounding Mystic Lake. The subject property is
located in the San Jacinto Valley, approximately 18 miles southeast of downtown
Riverside, just north of the community of Lakeview. To the northwest is the City of
Moreno Valley, whose current authorized sphere of influence wraps around the northern
and northeastern borders of the wildlife area. The western boundary of the SJWA is
contiguous with the Lake Perris State Recreation Area and when combined with the
SJWA, provides approximately 15,000 acres of land under public ownership and
protection.  Initial land acquisitions for the SJWA occurred between 1981-82 as part of a mitigation
package to compensate for wildlife habitat losses resulting from the construction of the State
Water Project. As opportunity and circumstances allowed, the Board acquired additional
properties including 921± acres of the Mystic Lake property in 1995.  The property is in an area reclaimed from Mystic Lake, and has been converted to agricultural ground and used for farming. Acquisition of the property would facilitate restoration of historic water flows back into the lake bed and allow for reversion back to wetlands during wet years, and areas of low vegetation cover during dry years, all providing significant habitat for species using the SJWA, including a number of state and federally listed species.
The appraised fair market value of the property, as approved by the Department of General
Services is $2,214,000.00. However, the owner has agreed to sell the property for
$1,700,000.00, thereby providing a $514,000.00 donation to the state. It is estimated that
an additional $7,000.00 will be needed for project expenses, including escrow and title
company costs, and Department of General Services’ review charges. An additional
$500.00 is requested for start-up costs to purchase signs to post on the property, bringing
the total allocation requested for this project to $1,707,500.00.
The Department of Fish and Game supports the acquisition of the property. The
acquisition is exempt from CEQA under Section 15313 as an acquisition of land for
wildlife purposes and a Notice of Exemption has been filed.
Staff recommends the Board approve the acquisition as proposed; allocate $1,707,500.00
[$1,193,500.00 from Safe Neighborhood and Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air and Coastal
Protection Bond Fund (Prop 12), Section 5096.350 (a)(1)(B) and $514,000.00 from the
General Fund-Challenge Grant Fund] to cover the balance of the acquisition value and to
pay for related project expenses; authorize staff to enter into appropriate agreements as
necessary to carry out this project; and authorize staff and the Department of Fish and
Game to proceed substantially as planned.

31. San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Expansions 15 through 19, $15,100,000.00
Riverside County

This proposal is to consider the acquisition of five separate ownerships consisting of
approximately 1,000 acres of land as expansions of the Department of Fish and Game’s
(DFG) San Jacinto Wildlife Area (WLA), located in western Riverside County. Specifically,
the project area is located in the San Jacinto Valley of southern California, approximately 18
miles southeast of downtown Riverside and just north of the community of Lakeview. To the
northwest is the City of Moreno Valley, whose current authorized sphere of influence includes
the proposed Expansions 15 - 19 as described herein.
Initial land acquisitions for the WLA were completed during 1981 - 82 as part of a mitigation
package developed to compensate for wildlife habitat losses resulting from the construction
of the State Water Project. Since 1995, the Board has acquired 1,283± acres bringing the
total acreage under Department ownership to 7,784± acres. The Lake Perris State
Recreation Area lies adjacent to the western boundary of the WLA and if this project is
approved as proposed, 16,000± acres will be protected under public ownership.
Acquisition of the proposed expansions will allow for the protection of a portion of Mystic
Lake and its associated upland habitat which is important to a number of sensitive plant and
animal species. The upland areas and hills surrounding the lowland flood plain of Mystic Lake
are dominated by Riversidian sage scrub and patches of grasslands are found on the uplands
and alkali flats. Numerous sensitive plants endemic to the Mystic Lake area, including the
thread-leaved brodiaea (state listed endangered and federally proposed threatened), San
Jacinto saltbush (federally proposed endangered) and spreading navarretia (federally proposed
threatened) are found on site. The WLA and adjoining lands support 38 species of
amphibians and reptiles. Mammals species are well represented and range from the desert
shrew to the southern mule deer. The Stephens’ kangaroo rat (state listed threatened and
federally listed endangered) is a resident mammal of the WLA.
Since 1982, over 240 species of birds have been recorded on, or adjacent to, the WLA.
Twenty-two over-wintering raptor species are known to utilize the San Jacinto Valley,
including osprey, ferruginous hawk, golden eagle and short-eared owl. The San Jacinto
Valley consistently ranks in the top one to two percent in species diversity for the North
American Christmas bird counts. Historically, the San Jacinto Valley has consistently proved
to be an important southern California wintering and nesting area for migratory shorebirds
and waterfowl. Three federally or state listed endangered birds have been documented on the
WLA, including bald eagle, Peregrine falcon and the California brown pelican.
The DFG has identified the subject properties as being within a Significant Natural Area and
has recommended the purchase of the property as an addition to the existing WLA. The
acquisition of the subject properties are important to the wildlife area as they will serve as a
buffer from development north of the WLA and add significant wildlife benefits to the WLA.
It is anticipated that the addition of these properties will enhance public recreational
opportunities, as the upland habitat and wetland areas are restored. Therefore, consistent
with long-range planning purposes, staff of the Board present the following five proposals for
Board consideration:
Expansion 15 $935,365.00
This proposal is to consider the acquisition of 60± acres of land lying adjacent to the San
Jacinto WLA on the north. The property has no improvements. The approved appraised
value is $927,365.00 and the owner has agreed to sell to the state for that amount. An
additional $8,000.00 will be needed for appraisal, escrow, title insurance and Department of
General Services’ (DGS) review costs.
Expansion 16 $1,907,100.00
This proposal is to consider the acquisition of 126 ± acres of land lying adjacent to the San
Jacinto WLA on the north. The property has no improvements. The approved appraised
value is $1,895,100.00 and the owner has agreed to sell to the state for that amount. An
additional $12,000.00 will be needed for appraisal, escrow, title insurance and DGS review
costs.
Expansion 17 $9,209,735.00
This proposal is to consider the acquisition of 613± acres of land lying adjacent to the San
Jacinto WLA on the north. The property has no improvements. The approved appraised
value is $9,176,400.00 and the owner has agreed to sell to the state for that amount. An
additional $33,335.00 will be needed for appraisal, escrow, title insurance and DGS review
costs.
Expansion 18 $589,400.00
This proposal is to consider the acquisition of 39± acres of land lying adjacent to the San
Jacinto WLA on the north. The property has no improvements. The approved appraised
value is $581,400.00 and the owner has agreed to sell to the state for that amount. An
additional $8,000.00 will be needed for appraisal, escrow, title insurance and DGS review
costs.
Expansion 19 $2,440,250.00
This proposal is to consider the acquisition of 162± acres of land lying adjacent to the San
Jacinto WLA on the north. The property has no improvements. The approved appraised
value is $2,426,250.00 and the owner has agreed to sell to the state for that amount. An
additional $14,000.00 will be needed for appraisal, escrow, title insurance and DGS review costs.
The acquisition of the subject expansions are exempt from CEQA under Class 13 of
Categorical Exemptions as an acquisition of land for wildlife conservation purposes and a
Notice of Exemption has been filed. There are no claims of sovereign state land ownership
within the proposed expansions.
Staff recommends that the Board approve acquisition of San Jacinto Wildlife Area,
Expansions 15 through 19, as proposed; allocate $15,100,000.00 from the Safe
Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air and Coastal Protection Bond Act (Prop 12),
Sec. 5096.350 (a) (3) T&E, for the purchase price and associated costs; authorize staff to
enter into appropriate agreements as necessary to accomplish this project; and authorize staff
and the Department of Fish and Game to proceed substantially as planned."

So it looks like they are spending quite a bit of money for the property.  Who knows, I'm sure us hunters won't see the benefit of this for a couple of years.  I asked about hunting deer out there last year while I was waiting to duck hunt, the DFG guy said there where deer there.  Nice to know somebody saw one.
 

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