Three Wildlife Corridor Parcels (outlined in blue)
|Parcel Number||Owner||Zoning||Land Use||Acres||Slope||Description|
|064-334-12||City of Sausalito||Open Space||80 Tax Exempt||0.23||51.6%||Eastern wildlife corridor parcel|
|064-334-18||City of Sausalito||Open Space||80 Tax Exempt||0.09||34.0%||Middle wildlife corridor parcel|
|064-334-24||City of Sausalito||Open Space||80 Tax Exempt||0.07||65.2%||Kendell Court wildlife corridor parcel|
Animal Trails Near Cypress Ridge (white dashed lines)
The three Wildlife Corridor Parcels connect Cypress Ridge and the undeveloped PG&E Easement with Lincoln Drive and the Caltrans Right of Way (orange line).
The Wildlife Corridor
Jennifer Berry, a local field biologist, has studied the Sausalito Highlands for several years. This has included setting up motion activated cameras within the Wildlife Corridor which have captured images and video of fox, coyote, and deer traveling nightly between Cypress Ridge and the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge where the area’s only creek is located.
A coyote and a grey fox travel along the Wildlife Corridor (Berry).
The following video contains footage taken at the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge and at the Wildlife Corridor next to Cypress Ridge Open Space Preserve:
Here are screen shots from the video:
The reason why the City purchased these three parcels can be deduced from a few old maps and news articles.
The Caltrans Right of Way map from the 1950’s shows that PG&E owned all three Wildlife Corridor parcels in 1955 though there were only two parcels at the time. These are parcels 9127-1 and 9127-2 circled in blue. Though streets and parcels are significantly different today, the intersection of the PG&E right of way with Rodeo Ave on the west side of Highway 101 clearly show these are the same as the Wildlife Corridor parcels today.
The map above was published in Sausalito Marin Scope on 6/1/1976 just before the Measure E election to show the parcels covered by the measure. Circled in blue is the “PG&E Right of Way” indicating PG&E still owned the property in 1976.
Another article in Sausalito Marin Scope from 7/9/1974 reported that the Open Space Committee, created by the City Council in November 1973, had identified 18 properties for open space acquisition or preservation including PG&E and MMWD properties as they were put up for sale.
Putting these together, it is evident that the City purchased these three Wildlife Corridor parcels sometime after 1976 to preserve them as open space, not to be set aside and rezoned later for housing.
PG&E Power Lines
064-334-24 – Parcel nearest Freeway
064-334-18 – Middle Parcel
064-334-12 – Nearest PG&E Easement (left)
064-334-13 – PG&E Easement (right)
There are many reasons why these parcels should be protected with a conservation easement so they remain undeveloped: they are important to wildlife, they are small and steep, and they were purchased for preservation. But the most obvious is that they sit beneath PG&E’s high voltage power lines that descend from Alta Ridge in the GGNRA and enter the PG&E substation on Woodward Ave.
This raises the question why bother to protect them at all. We point out that there are houses right next to these parcels that are almost under the power lines, the power lines may be buried someday or the substation may be moved. No matter what happens to the power lines these parcels will remain important to wildlife.
All donations made at our partner’s website, openspacesausalito.org, will fund this project until its $9,000 budget is met or until December 31, 2021, whichever is first.