The Western Division of Vulcan Materials Co. announced the expansion of its Cajon Creek Conservation Bank to more than 1,300 acres in Cajon Wash and Lytle Creek, Calif. The Cajon Creek Conservation Bank protects the rare plant community located in Cajon Wash and Lytle Creek known as Riversidian Alluvial Fan Sage Scrub (RAFSS), according to Inland Empire.
The habitat and active wash and stream bed associated with this community is home to more than 30 special status species, including the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat, Santa Ana River woolly star, the Slender-horned spineflower and the threatened Coastal California gnatcatcher.
The Cajon Creek Conservation Bank is now the only bank in the area that is approved by all three federal- and state-required permitting agencies: the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The habitat and species will be permanently protected by a conservation easement and endowment to fund the management of the property in perpetuity under the stewardship of the aforementioned agencies.
Conservation banks provide permanent protection of threatened natural areas or habitat for threatened or endangered species. Conservation banks also undertake restoration and management of these sites to maintain their natural resource value in perpetuity.
Under state and federal laws, public and private development projects that must provide mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts to the environment can purchase credits from approved conservation banks to fulfill these requirements. The addition of acreage to the Cajon Creek Conservation Bank’s existing mitigation acreage further increases the supply of mitigation credits available to meet the demands for both public works infrastructure projects as well as land development.
“The Cajon Creek Conservation Bank’s mitigation credits offset the impact of development projects in the Santa Ana Watershed through the preservation of natural open space, threatened habitat and endangered species,” said Michael Linton, vice president of Vulcan’s Western Division.
“Vulcan Materials has been a partner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 20 years,” said Paul Souza, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest regional director. “The Cajon Creek Conservation Bank expansion is great news for a multitude of species that rely on alluvial fan scrub habitat, and is another example of Vulcan’s significant contributions to wildlife conservation in Southern California.”
Vulcan Materials Co. is one of the largest private holders of conserved land in the United States.