July 10, 2020

Preservation Team Calls for Action on Rocky Ledge



Preservation Team Calls for Action on Rocky Ledge

The Rocky Ledge Land Presevation Team are, from left, Bill Bowling, Margaret Oakley-Otto, Jeanne Danch Arthur and R.C. Brody. In 2012 they succeeded in obtaining 20 acres of the Rocky Ledge Hillside at Tuna Canyon and Fernwood. They are pushing to raise public and private funds to obtain six adjacent acres that includes part of Dix Creek on the southern edge, a riparian watershed and wildlife habitat.

Due to the efforts of the Rocky Ledge Land Preservation Team, in 2011 more than 20 acres on Rocky Ledge that had been slated for development and construction of five homes above Fernwood Pacific and Tuna Canyon were purchased with public and private funds.

It is now preserved as 120 acres of open space. [See, “Rocky Ledge Preservation Team Celebrates 20-Acres as 'Open Space'” Messenger Vol. 35, No. 03, Feb. 10, 2011].

In a meeting on Jan. 29 at the Topanga Library, the Team called for urgent action on an additional six-acre parcel adjacent to the 20 acres and once again seeks private and public funds to purchase and preserve the land as open space.The unique parcel, located at 1809 Tuna Canyon, backs up to seasonal Dix Creek, a major tributary to Topanga Creek, and includes many magnificent rock formations, an oak woodland and pristine chaparral. It also serves as a wildlife corridor.

Neighbors who live next to the parcel also report evidence of mountain lion tracks on their land.

During their presentation, team leader Jeanne Dancs Arthur and her colleagues, R.C. Brody, Bill Bowling and Margaret Oakley-Otto, expressed the concern that development would irreversibly change the face of the mountainside and wreak havoc on the fragile ecosystems.

According to Arthur, the seller of the land agrees that the land is worth preserving, and is interested in working with them. “We are heartened that the seller of the land supports our vision to preserve it as open space,” said Arthur. “We hope to have it become part of 126 continuous acres of undisturbed land bordered on the north and south by seasonal creeks.”

The main issue is that the motivated seller has also just signed with a new real estate agent for an asking price of $375,000. According to Arthur, the team has already raised $2,400 in private pledges to secure the property.

Members of the Resource Conservation District and Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) were in attendance at the meeting and offered their expertise to help move the project forward and to help the team in its ongoing efforts to preserve undeveloped land in the Santa Monica Mountains.

“We all need to work together at all levels to achieve these goals,” said Debbie Sharpton, Executive Director of the MRT. “The connection with Topanga State Park is fragmented; we need to focus on connecting the open spaces.”

People inspired to make a donation, a pledge or to learn more, can visit rockyledgelandpreservation.org.

To become involved with the effort, Arthur can be reached at jeannedancsarthur@gmail.com.