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National Park Service buys 45 acres in Santa Monica Mountains

The National Park Service recently acquired a cluster of four privately owned parcels adjacent to Circle X Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, preserving roughly 45 acres in perpetuity.

Between Sandstone Peak and Triunfo Peak, the land’s steep upland slopes, rocky outcroppings and oak woodlands are part of the view from the nationally recognized Backbone Trail.

The 67-mile trail traces the ridge lines and canyons of the Santa Monicas and was completed in 2016, patched together piece by piece over more than four decades.

Preserving additional nearby parcels adds another piece to the puzzle, said Justin Yee, an outdoor recreation planner for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

“Habitat fragmentation is one of the biggest threats to wildlife and acquiring undeveloped parkland is a critical piece of that conservation effort,” he said Monday as he walked along a dirt path overlooking the recent acquisition.

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