Thanks to the vision of a few people, the Crafton Hills Preserve remains a defining feature of natural beauty for Yucaipa and the surrounding communities. Similar visionaries brought us the Wildwood Canyon State Park and the El Dorado Park. These are important places to all who enter them as sanctuaries to escape urban life. These natural areas provide needed psychological well-being and renewal.
There is a very limited amount of land being held in perpetuity for preservation purposes in our area. Once the land is preserved, it needs to be managed carefully, and not become compromised by creeping urban influence. There is no end to urbanization. While development is of course appropriate in many locations, oftentimes it occurs too close to preserved wildlands. This creates the challenge of avoiding and minimizing the urban edge effects. Edge effects occur where development takes place adjacent to wildlands. Edge effects threaten the ecological integrity, recreational experience, aesthetic quality, animal migrations, and safety of preserved wildland areas. It is now well understood that in order to maintain healthy ecosystems and maintain biodiversity, attention must be given to minimizing impacts to wildlands from surrounding urban areas.
The original vision for our designated natural areas should be perpetuated, as a legacy for current and future generations. Preservation of these natural areas is now our greatest challenge.
Crafton Hills Open Space Conservancy