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Mar 20, 2014 10:23 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News

Hikers could have new home in Pismo

As hundreds of acres in Pismo Beach go up for sale, the Land Conservancy is making a play to transform the land into a public park called the Pismo Preserve.

"I see it as this spectacular landscape that protects wildlife habitats, protects our water quality, and most importantly is a place where family, friends, tourists can get together and really appreciate what we have in this county," Kaila Dettman, executive director of The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.

A private ranch currently takes up the 900-acre plot above Pismo Beach City Hall, and the Land Conservancy wants to carve out 10 miles of hiking and equestrian trails and create a wildlife preserve. It's going to cost the organization $11.7 million to purchase the land, and it plans to ask state agencies for $8 million, local government for $2 million, and the public for $1.7 million through donation.

Currently, the Land Conservancy has raised $125,000 of the $1.7 million it needs from the public, and is expanding its campaign to foundations; however, Dettman is confident the state and the public will come through.
"There's so much enthusiasm behind this and so many people excited about this project that I really hope the community doesn't let it fail," Dettman said.

KSBY talked to neighbors who live near the proposed Pismo Preserve, and they said the only downside they see would be increased traffic near Mattie Road, where the Land Conservancy wants to put a parking lot and restrooms. However, people who lived on the hillside, where there could be other entry points into the Pismo Preserve, think only foot traffic will increase, as parking is limited.

For more information on the Pismo Preserve land sale, go to http://lcslo.org.

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