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City closes escrow on Elsmere Canyon purchase

City partners with county, Conservancy to buy 842 acres for $6 million

Posted: October 29, 2010 4:19 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2010 4:19 p.m.

The city of Santa Clarita has closed escrow today on 842 acres in Elsmere Canyon.

Elsmere Canyon is located in the Newhall Pass and is adjacent to the Angeles National Forest, and the protected lands in Whitney and Placerita Canyons.

The canyon is an area of significant importance as it provides connectivity to existing wildlife corridors and increases the city's greenbelt of protected open space.

The city was able to leverage Open Space District funds by partnering with Los Angeles County through a Proposition A Grant, and funds dedicated by Supervisor Michael Antonovich and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC).

The total purchase price was $6 million. The city's Open Space District funds committed $3,850,000; the county $1,750,000 and SMMC provided $500,000.

"This is what we were voting for when we passed our Open Space District," said Mayor Laurene Weste, who spearheaded the passing of the Santa Clarita Open Space Preservation District in 2007. "Between Elsmere and the acquisition earlier this week of the 243 acre Rodda/Agua Dulce property, this has been an amazing week of over 1,000 acres of preservation for our community."

Elsmere Canyon is located on the Rim of the Valley corridor, a popular spot for local hikers, equestrians and nature enthusiasts.

In the 1990s, local community advocates, with the support of United States Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, fought to keep this pristine canyon from becoming the largest landfill in the United States.

For more information on the property purchase, call Barbara Blankenship, the city's acquisition specialist for open space, at (661) 286-4086 or visit


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