The project consists of the acquisition of the Cougar Landing property at 7777 Cougar Lane to expand the County’s Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve. The property consists of approximately 120 acres of largely undeveloped habitat in the Mayacamas Mountains. The existing park and preserve surrounds the property on three sides with more than a mile of shared boundary. The property is adjacent to the Azalea Creek Use Area and is close to several park trails. The Property’s rich mixture of oak woodlands, grassland, and coniferous forest would expand resource and watershed protection and provide additional nature-based recreation and education opportunities. Acquiring this property promotes numerous conservation priorities: it has scenic resource and riparian corridor zoning and supports the Blue Ridge to Marin Coast Wildlife Linkage Corridor. The entire parcel is highest priority for Wildlife Habitat and Movement and contains priority conifer forest, hardwood forest, and groundwater recharge areas as designated by the Bay Area Critical Linkages Project and Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. It will also help support additional emergency access to the park. Public access will continue to be from existing developed parking areas off of Pythian and Los Alamos Roads.
The purpose of the acquisition is to preserve the open space values of the property, provide additional trails, protect natural resources and the wilderness experience provided at the park and preserve, and offer a nature-based recreational experience close to population centers. To facilitate conservation and recreation on the property, the County may remove debris, remove or reconstruct existing fences and gates, provide minor fuel management, conduct limited habitat restoration, maintain the existing access, and provide for interim public use to the property.