On June 29, 2010 the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept a donation of approximately 20,000 acres from the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and guided recreation.
These special, protected wildlands, known collectively as the Irvine Ranch Open Space, are operated by OC Parks, with public programs and activities available through the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.
Based on the geological and ecological significance, nearly 40,000 acres of open space on the historic Irvine Ranch, including the 20,000 of the Irvine Ranch Open Space, have been designated a Natural Landmark by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior. This honor recognizes the exceptional value of these lands to California and the entire nation.
Recreation opportunities are available through regularly scheduled programs. These activities include hiking, mountain biking, equestrian rides, naturalist-guided tours and self-guided wilderness access days. Other uses are prohibited by the terms of the deed restrictions, conservation easements, County wilderness park designations, and the Orange County Central Coastal Natural Community Conservation Plan permit.
We invite you to visit letsgooutside.org and select from the many free activities offered. In addition to a variety of recreational programs, there are opportunities to participate in scientific research, stewardship and other volunteer activities.
OC Public Works, in coordination with OC Parks, will be improving Black Star Canyon Road between the existing trailhead and County property line (approximately 1 mile long) weekdays Sept. 17-Oct. 26.
Weekday trail closures are required for this project. During construction, working hours access will be restricted to residents, utility maintenance and emergency vehicles only. The trail will be open for general public use on weekends.
The Canyon Fire 2 swept through eastern Orange County this week, burning extensively into multiple County parks, closing three regional parks at least through Monday.
Irvine Regional Park, Peters Canyon Regional Park and Santiago Oaks Regional Park still have numerous hot spots, weakened trees and other hazards that make them unsafe to enter without proper precautions. Active flare ups continued to plague the parks as late as Friday morning, and fire weather conditions are expected Saturday through midday Sunday.
Of the more than 9,000 acres estimated damaged in the Canyon Fire 2, the large majority are within four primary OC Parks regional properties: Irvine Regional Park, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Peters Canyon Regional Park, and Irvine Ranch Open Space. Other facilities, including several regional trail segments, are also damaged.
The new East Sinks Viewing Deck, which boasts stunning vistas of Orange County’s very own “mini Grand Canyon,” is now open for visitors after a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 3 in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer and OC Parks staff were joined by hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff and volunteers in dedicating the new deck, which is the second platform overlooking The Sinks.
Today the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept 2,500 acres of open space, donated by the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and public recreation. The donation provides additional connectivity to the 20,000 acres the Irvine Company donated to the County in 2010, which marked the largest single donation of land to the County in its history. The land accepted today was previously slated for construction of approximately 5,000 homes.
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