Lonestar Mitigation Site Open Space Easement consists of 62.16 acres in Otay Mesa, northwest of the corner of Lonestar Road and Harvest Road, approximately 0.75 mile north of Otay Mesa Road in the unincorporated southwestern portion of the County of San Diego.  The Preserve is surrounded by other open space lands, including the planned Otay Valley Regional Park to the north, Otay County Open Space Preserve to the northeast, and land to the west which underwent restoration as mitigation for the South Bay Lonestar Preserve viewExpressway (SR 125 South) project.  San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC) commenced active management of the Preserve in January 2013.

History: This open space preserve was set aside as off-site mitigation for impacts for a project developed by Correction Corporation of America which impacted 36.7 acres of County sensitive burrowing owl occupied non-native grassland habitat (the Preserve land was traded to International Industrial Park, Inc, who is the current owner). The remaining 25.46 acres of the Preserve are being managed by SDHC but may be sold by the owner for mitigation for other projects in the area.  Helix EPI was the CEQA contractor for the project.  SDHC is coordinating with USFWS, CDFW, and the County of San Diego to explore enhancement opportunities on-site.  These enhancement activities would be beyond what is required by the project’s Habitat Management Plan and would be funded by enhancement funds held by the agencies or grants.

Habitat: The Preserve consists of 58.81 acres of non-native grassland and 3.35 acres of Diegan coastal sage scrub. SDHC plans to install artificial burrowing owl burrows to enhance the site for this rare species.

Management Duties: SDHC monitors the Preserve on a monthly basis. Quarterly site assessments are conducted by our biologist to specifically observe natural conditions, account for the presence of plant and animal species, and observe potential conflicts to the Preserve goals and the need for remedial measures. The remaining visits focus primarily on illegal dumping, human intrusions, vandalism, and the conditions of signs and fencing. During the first three years of management (2013, 2014, 2015) the Preserve will be mowed annually and thereafter, biennially (every other year), as deemed necessary. The goal is to reduce the cover of non-native grasses so that native plant seed in the soil will have a better chance to become established and will provide burrowing owls with a better habitat in which to forage and nest successfully. Only open space uses surround the Preserve to the north, west, and east and predominantly industrial and commercial uses exist to the south, so SDHC does not conduct any regular annual public outreach efforts at this time.

Species of Special Interest: Coast barrel cactus, Otay tarplant, San Diego sunflower, small-flowered morning glory, burrowing owl, California horned lark, coastal California gnatcatcher, northern harrier, rufous-crowned sparrow, white-tailed kite, Coronado skink.

Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat
  Grassland Habitat
To learn more about a habitat, click on the name.

Lonestar Preserve map