County acquires 600 acres in Santa Monica Mountains for $8.3 million

The Board of Supervisors this week approved an $8.3-million-deal to acquire and preserve more than 600 acres for public use in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The acquisition assures that the 525-acre southern base of Ladyface Mountain near Agoura Hills and an additional 86 acres in Escondido Canyon near Malibu will be protected against development and “human activity,” according to Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) will oversee the publicly owned lands. And with the Ladyface mountainside now under public jurisdiction, officials believe it should give way to unprecedented uses for the mountainside, which is easily visible from Kanan Dume Road near Agoura Road. 

“It creates a trail opportunity that few people have ever even dreamed of,” said Paul Edelman, chief of natural resources and planning for the organization. He said the Pentachaeta Trail in Westlake Village will connect across Triunfo Canyon for the first time and into the epicenter of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Newly owned acreage in Escondido Canyon features a deep creek along with a pond, terraces and picnic tables.

To fund the purchase, the county used money generated from a few sources, include Prop A, a parks measure passed in 1992 and 1996. 

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