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New addition to Hood Mountain Regional Park approved

Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors approved spending $1.02 million to acquire the 120-acre Cougar Landing property addition to Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year.

The property is accessed off Los Alamos Road in Rincon Valley and has been used to provide access for emergency responders for fires and floods.

The addition is surrounded on three sides by Hood Mountain Regional Park and is a strategic acquisition for natural resource protection and wildlife habitat, connectivity, public recreational use, and trail connectivity, and will support local wildfire defense strategies.

No significant management costs are expected with the new addition.

The property is visible from Highway 12, situated at 1,883 feet, and offers 360-degree views of the Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma Valley, and beyond, according to a regional parks description. Future trails may connect nearby Azalea Creek to other Mount Hood use areas.

The property’s elevation also offers a new site for wildfire detection. Regional parks is collaborating with the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Services to install a fire camera in time for the 2022 fire season. The property also includes a critical section of the “First Ridge” firebreak, which helped keep the 2017 Nuns Fire from expanding into heavily populated Rincon Valley, Oakmont, and the Santa Rosa Creek watershed. Acquiring the property also prevents further development in this critical fire zone.

The regional parks are looking for grants to fund the development of a resource management plan to add to the existing park master plans.

Learn more about Sonoma County Regional Parks at parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov or by calling (707) 565-1107.

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