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Land trust gets huge state grant to help finalize creation of new preserve on South Coast

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Ventura Land Trust
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The Ventura Land Trust received $7.2 million from the state for the Mariano Rancho Preserve project, which is conserving more than 1600 acres of land in the hills above Ventura.

The Ventura Land Trust received $7.2 million for the Mariano Ranch Preserve.

A project to permanently preserve more than 1600 acres of land in Ventura County’s foothills received a big financial boost from the state.

The Ventura Land Trust received $7.2 million to complete its purchase of some hills above the City of Ventura, which is an area known as the Mariano Rancho Preserve.

The trust bought the 1,645 acres of land for $4 million in 2020. But, they had to take out a $2.2 million loan to do it. Trust officials say the $7.2 million from the state will allow the payoff of the $1.4 million remaining on the loan, and will create an endowment to manage the land.

Part of the property is adjacent to Ventura’s Grant park. The new preserve is currently closed to the public, while the land trust develops restoration and management plans.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.