Rancho Guejito, located to the east of the Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve is key to maintaining regional habitat connectivity and wildlife corridors. Without these connections the Preserve's biological integrity will suffer. Recent efforts to develop the Rancho, California's last intact Mexican land grant, create threats to the Presever's viability.
Hellhole Canyon is embedded in a larger regional network of publicly-owned natural lands and is a key component of the regional Santa Ana-Palomar wildlife corridor and watershed. Hellhole Canyon is crucial in allowing wildlife movement between Rancho Guejito and the San Luis Rey River valley. The Preserve provides connectivity between large blocks of conserved land to the south of Rancho Guejito and Cleveland National Forest lands to the north on Palomar Mountain, northwest toward Pala and Temecula (and ultimately the Santa Rosa Plateau Preserve) and east to Lake Henshaw. The Preserve borders Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands linking directly to Rancho Guejito to the southeast.
This connectivity goes further. Rancho Guejito connects to the San Pasqual Valley (and ultimately Lake Hodges) and San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Plan and other conserved lands in Ramona, Boden Canyon, Pamo Valley, and Black Mountain. Cleveland National Forest borders the BLM lands and provides further connectivity to open space to the east.
This connectivity is critical for conserving a diverse array of plant and wildlife species by providing for gene flow between populations, allowing juvenile dispersal to appropriate habitats, and allowing species to shift their distributions to more suitable habitats in response to changing climate conditions. This regional connectivity is also important for wide-ranging species such as the mountain lion, which occur in Hellhole Canyon.
Regional Corridor Map Corridor Map
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