By Melissa Caskey
Special to the Daily Press
SM MOUNTAINS — After moving one step closer to obtaining 532-acre Charmlee Wilderness Park in the city of Malibu this week, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority are also in the process of acquiring 416 acres of land in nearby Decker Canyon.
The conservancy board of directors voted last week to approve the use of $25,000 in mitigation funds to attempt to acquire the land.
The potential acquisition is directly west of Decker Canyon Road and runs north from Pacific Coast Highway up to Decker Canyon Camp. A map of the area shows the acreage is currently owned by Malibu Real Estate Holdings, Inc.
“The Coastal Slope Trail crosses through five of the eight subject parcels. The dominant vegetation type is chaparral with extensive riparian vegetation included in a long section of Decker Canyon Creek,” said a memo written by conservancy Executive Director Joe Edmiston.
The agencies would seek to preserve the space as open parkland with hiking trails, according to Rory Skei, the chief deputy executive officer for the authority. She said neither agency was considering campsites for the area, which is what has been planned for Charmlee.
“It’d be open space parkland that the coastal subtrail would go through it,” Skei said on Thursday. “It has some great possibilities for trail use. No other future uses have been looked at.”
The acquisition could potentially give the conservancy contiguous control of vast acreage in the area, as the Malibu City Council this week voted to pursue a lease swap with the conservancy for city control of 83-acre Bluffs Park in exchange for city-owned 532-acre Charmlee Wilderness Park.
This article first appeared in The Malibu Times.