News Details

Ladera Ridge Habitat Protection

In May, 2014 the Rancho Mission Viejo Company contacted OC Parks and requested assistance in reducing trespassing from County land into an area they own and manage as a designated habitat reserve for endangered species.

When park staff surveyed the County-owned property in the O’Neill Regional Park inventory, they discovered there was a significant amount of traffic using both a decommissioned ranch road and an unauthorized trail that connected the ridgeline to Antonio Parkway. It was determined that neither of the routes are approved trails; in fact it is a closed area that is not designated for recreational use. At that time OC Parks installed fencing and posted signs at the two entry points on Antonio and Oso parkways to discourage unauthorized access.

Due to continuing trespassing issues, Rancho Mission Viejo Company reached out to OC Parks once again. In February, staff members from both organizations inspected the area. It was apparent the issues had not improved, but in fact escalated. Additional unauthorized trails had been constructed on both Rancho Mission Viejo and County property. There was also vandalism to fencing and drainage v-ditches, construction of structures, disturbed soil and cut vegetation.

Although many are accustomed to accessing this area for recreational use, this is not its designated purpose. In the interest of protecting the valuable natural resources found on both County and the Rancho Mission Viejo Reserve, measures will be taken to prevent further destruction.