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Supervisors Back Purchase of Zuma Land : Supervisors Back Conservancy in Bid to Buy Lower Zuma Land

August 25, 1985

The county Board of Supervisors has added its backing to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's proposal to buy Lower Zuma Canyon, the largest undeveloped canyon property in the county.

Supervisor Deane Dana, who sought the board's support, said the canyon provides residents and visitors to Los Angeles County with many recreational opportunities, including a year-round stream, equestrian and hiking trails and a major ecological area with wildlife and native vegetation.

The proposed purchase of the 1,000-acre tract also has the backing of Assemblyman Gray Davis (D-Los Angeles).

The plan suffered a setback in June when Gov. George Deukmejian vetoed $6 million in funds earmarked for the purchase.

In July, the conservancy suggested a compromise that would shift $3 million in state money already allocated for the conservancy's acquisition of two other scenic areas--Malibu Sequit and Cold Creek Ranch. Under the compromise, the state would still be asked to contribute the remaining $3 million for the Zuma Canyon purchase.

Currently the property is owned by the Adamson Companies, a partnership formed by pioneer Malibu families who have extensive holdings along the coastline. Officials of the Adamson Companies have indicated they are willing to sell the property to the conservancy. However, the owners also have cautioned that they will develop the canyon if a purchase offer is not forthcoming.

The conservancy wants to buy the land on behalf of the National Park Service, which envisions a major 7,300-acre park encompassing Zuma and Trancas canyons. Under their agreement, the conservancy will hold the land for safekeeping until the Park Service can negotiate a grant from Congress for its purchase.

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