30 x 30 Power In Nature: Protecting California Together


The acquisition and preservation of the eastern ridgeline next to Chino Hills State Park hinges on state dollars, said local conservation consultant Melanie Schlotterbeck. Dollars that are in jeopardy.

The budgets of both Newsom and the legislature, take away $45 million already allocated to the state’s Habitat Conservation Fund for the next fiscal year. Money that could fund the purchase of 842 acres of the ridgeline and expand the park.

The Habitat Conservation Fund was created when California voters approved Proposition 117 in 1990. It requires the state to allocate annually $30 million to the fund — meant to be used for habitat protection and conservation — through 2030.

The legislature is saying redirect that funding for this budget, Newsom’s plan goes a step further and sunsets the fund this year, six years early.

“That’s $180 million that would be slashed,” said Schlotterbeck, who is part of Brea-based Hills For Everyone, a grassroots organization behind the preservation of the 14,100 acres of land that became the Chino Hills State Park. “We fully recognize that there’s a deficit that needs to be accommodated, but our conservation dollars have been hit especially hard.”