The Sunrise Preservation Properties
From the deserts of Anza-Borrego to the peaks of El Capitan and the forests and meadows in between, we’re working with our partners to preserve forever more than 11,000 acres of important habitat.
This is one of the largest habitat preservation efforts in the region’s history. Close to two dozen properties were researched and selected for preservation. Many of these properties will become public lands as part of the Cleveland National Forest or Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, with the others managed by local conservation groups or local and regional governments.
Our support has ensured that the properties are not just preserved but actively monitored and managed as sanctuaries for endangered and threatened species. These include:
Peninsular bighorn sheep
Quino checkerspot butterfly
Many bird species
San Diego River Watershed
We donated 266 acres adjacent to Cedar Creek Falls in the San Diego River watershed to the U.S. Forest Service. The habitat is home to 25 sensitive or endangered wildlife species, including the endangered arroyo toad. The lands are also a nesting area for the least Bell’s vireo, an endangered migratory songbird.
We helped the U.S. Forest Service acquire and incorporate the 66-acre Descanso Junction property into the Cleveland National Forest. Bordering Highway 79 on the western slope of Guatay Mountain, the area protects part of the Sweetwater River watershed, the largest of the three local watersheds. It is characterized by rare, native oak species and wildflowers. It is also an ideal habitat for the imperiled Hermes copper butterfly.
East El Capitan
We donated nearly 80 acres to the U.S. Forest Service, preserving an unspoiled mountain view and a habitat where threatened coastal California gnatcatchers may find a new home to spread their wings. The hillside property located on the eastern slopes of El Cajon Mountain above El Capitan Reservoir also provides a hunting ground for golden eagles.