Belle's Sage Sparrow
About the Southwestern Riverside County
The Multi-Species Reserve in southwestern Riverside County consists of 14,000 acres surrounding and connecting Diamond Valley Lake with Lake Skinner.
The Reserve is home to at least eight types of habitat and up to 31 sensitive bird, animal and plant species. Three types of habitat dominate: Riverside coastal sage scrub, non-native grasslands and chaparral. Smaller habitats include: coast live oak woodland, southern willow scrub and live oak, and cottonwood willow riparian forests.
Notable species include the California Gnatcatcher, Bell's Sparrow, San Diego Horned Lizard, Orange-Throated Whiptail, Payson's Jeweflower and Parry's Spineflower.
Southwest Riverside County Multi-Species Habitat Plan.
About the Reserve Management Committee (RMC)
The Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (Reserve) was established in October 1992 as mitigation for impacts to sensitive species resulting from the creation and operation of the reservoir “Diamond Valley Lake” (DVL) near Hemet, California. To this end, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) developed a Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) which included the establishment of the Reserve, provisions for research and management funding, and a Cooperative Management Agreement (CMA) between the five agencies with interest in the Reserve: MWD, Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency (RCHCA), Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District (RCRPOSD), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (Cooperative Management Agreement, 1992).
The Reserve MSHCP covered a 20,000-acre planning area including approximately 2,400 acres of previously conserved habitat (the Shipley Reserve), 6,600 acres of new conservation land, 8,600 acres dedicated to two reservoirs and water-related facilities, and 2,400 acres dedicated to recreation facilities at Diamond Valley Lake (previously “Domenigoni Valley Reservoir Project” or “Eastside Reservoir Project”) and existing Lake Skinner. The Reserve was established by combining the Shipley Reserve, lands around Lake Skinner, and lands around DVL to create a contiguous Reserve of approximately 9,000 acres. Subsequent acquisitions have added to the Reserve and increased the size of the Reserve to approximately 14,000 acres (21 square miles). The CMA established a Reserve Management Committee (RMC) consisting of one representative from each of the five agencies. Management of the Reserve is by a consensus (unanimous) vote of at least three RMC members present and voting, except that one member from either CDFW or USFWS must be present for business to be transacted (Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve Management Plan, 2008).
Southwestern Riverside County
Multi-Species Reserve Committee Members
Dustin McLain, Chair
Riverside County Regional Park & Open-Space District
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Metropolitan Water District
Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency