An anonymous donor has given $1 million toward the $5.5 million effort to add 104 acres to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve, which this herd of sheep grazed in 2019. | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

A campaign to buy and preserve 104 acres of open space adjacent to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve just received a big boost. Last week, Channel Islands Restoration, which leads the campaign, received an anonymous million-dollar donation toward the effort. Developer Chadmar Group has owned the right to build eight luxury homes since 2005 and indicated construction could begin as early as December. Environmental groups warn the project would irreversibly disrupt critical wildlife habitat. The campaign has now raised over $1.2 million and estimates $5.5 million might be needed to buy the property at fair market value.

Clarification: The $5.5 million price floated for the property is only an estimate; the actual purchase price has not yet been negotiated.


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