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Saddleback Canyons

The Saddleback Canyons Task Force (SCTF), formed in early 2002, is working to protect and preserve the rural canyon areas (Trabuco, Modjeska, Silverado) in southeastern Orange County and its gateways to the Saddleback Mountains and the Cleveland National Forest. We oppose development that is inconsistent with the Foothill/Trabuco and Silverado/Modjeska Specific Plans, the goals of which are to preserve the rural character of these areas by providing a much-needed buffer between urban development and the national forest.

Through the SCTF’s preservation campaigns, the Sierra Club has joined a lawsuit with the Endangered Habitats League, California Native Plant Society, Rural Canyons Conservation Fund, California Oak Foundation, and Sea & Sage Audubon Society to oppose Rutter Development Corp.’s SaddleCreek/SaddleCrest 600-acre housing developments at the famous Cook’s Corner gateway to Trabuco Canyon. SaddleCreek and SaddleCrest require sweeping amendments to the Foothill/Trabuco Specific Plan to allow for massive landform alteration, direct destruction of 500-1000 oak and sycamore trees, and impacts to over 75 acres of coastal sage scrub habitat to make room for 162 suburban tract-style houses. The projects have been severely criticized by the state and federal resource agencies for their impacts to biological resources and habitat. These projects are environmentally devastating, further contribute to urban sprawl, and encroach upon the boundary of the Cleveland National Forest, all in contravention of the Foothill/Trabuco Specific Plan’s well-established resource protection provisions. Efforts are underway to encourage acquisition of these parcels to preserve them as permanent and vital open space.

The Saddleback Canyons Task Force meets monthly at the Silverado Community Center, Silverado Canyon. Please contact SCTF leaders Rich Gomez (949) 855-8822 ext 3356 or Gloria Sefton (949) 589-9230 for more information.Or visit us at our Website.