Rocks Ranch Acquisition
California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC)
Rocks Ranch Acquisition
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Notice of exemption for Coastal Conservancy approval of grant funding. The State Coastal Conservancy hereby authorizes a grant to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to acquire the 2,618-acre Rocks Ranch property for natural resource protection and restoration; wildlife connectivity; cultural resource protection; open space preservation; and to the extent compatible with the foregoing, agricultural preservation, tribal access, and potentially public access, located at the northern tip of the Gabilan Range in Monterey and San Benito Counties.
State Coastal Conservancy
Monterey, San Benito
011-310-0030, 011-310-0060, 011-310-0040, 181141001000, 181141002000, and 181141003000
Other Location Info
Rocks Ranch is a 2,618-acre property on the northern tip of the Gabilan Range Mountains, just east of the community of Prunedale and west of the City of San Juan Bautista. The ranch property straddles Monterey and San Benito counties. The ranch is comprised of six parcels: three northern parcels totaling 1,242 acres (47%) are in San Benito County while the three southern parcels totaling 1,376 acres (53%) are in Monterey County. Rocks Ranch is adjacent to US Highway 101 through the Prunedale Bypass – a divided section of highway that traverses the northern Gabilan Range near the Aromas Hills, which connects the Gabilan Range to the Santa Cruz Mountains in the north.
Notice of Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Title 14, Section 15325
Reasons for Exemption
The proposed acquisition of the property is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 15325 regarding acquisitions of lands to preserve open space and habitat. Section 15325 provides examples of exempt acquisition purposes, including those for the purposes of preserving existing natural conditions, allowing continued agricultural uses, allowing restoration of natural conditions, and preserving open space for park purposes. Consistent with these examples, the proposed project will preserve natural wildlife habitat, allow continued agricultural use, enable future restoration of natural conditions, allow continued grazing on the property, and preserve open space for potential future public access.