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MAN ON NEW MISSION: Years ago, Mark Holmgren (pictured here in 2004) would take people to the San Marcos Foothills to show off the 377-acre property’s tremendous display of native flora and fauna and advocate against its overdevelopment. But today, three years after a deal was hatched to preserve most of the land, Holmgren finds himself fighting invasive weeds, which he calls the “cream of the exotic crop,” that are choking out the native plants and affecting the animal habitat. Meanwhile, the recession is both stalling the approved development and making it hard for the County Parks Department to handle their responsibilities.

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