Protecting Open Space Surrounded by Two Regional Parks
Surrounded by two regional parks, Barham Ranch has been a favorite destination for hikers and bird-watchers for over 100 years. This 509-acre parcel has spectacular views and is covered with majestic oaks, sage and wildflowers; it includes the most extensive willow woodlands in all of Orange County. In 1999, when the property owners, the Serrano Water District and Orange Unified School District, supported selling Barham Ranch to a developer with plans to build 600 homes, conservationists turned to CEQA to challenge their actions. As a result of the issues raised by CEQA, Orange County officials recognized the need to preserve this special place in perpetuity. Barham Ranch, purchased by the public in 2003, is now the crown jewel of Orange County’s regional park system.