Otay Mountain Wilderness

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Otay Mountain Wilderness
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Otay Mountain Wilderness Area BLM sign.jpg
BLM sign on Otay Mountain Truck Trail
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Location in California
Location San Diego County, United States
Nearest city Otay Mesa
Coordinates 32°35′40″N116°50′40″W / 32.59444°N 116.84444°W / 32.59444; -116.84444 Coordinates: 32°35′40″N116°50′40″W / 32.59444°N 116.84444°W / 32.59444; -116.84444
Area16,885 acres (6,833 ha) [1]
Established1999 (1999)
Governing body Bureau of Land Management [1] [2]
Tecate cypress in the Otay Mountain Wilderness Tecate CypressOtay.jpg
Tecate cypress in the Otay Mountain Wilderness

The Otay Mountain Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in San Diego County, California, 12 miles east of the city of Otay Mesa and just north of the Mexican border. Some parts of the wilderness area rise quickly from sea level, reaching a peak of just over 3,500 feet (1,100 m) at the summit of Otay Mountain. [3]

Contents

Wilderness status was conferred on October 7, 1998, effectively preserving 18,500 acres under protection of the Wilderness Act, a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System. [4] The legislation was signed by President Bill Clinton [5] :306 on December 11, 1999. [6]

Geography

The wilderness lies in the San Ysidro Mountains, [3] of which Otay Mountain is the highest summit at 3,566 feet (1,087 m). [7] The mountain, and its immediate surroundings, are extremely rugged and include steep, often precipitous, canyon walls and hills. [8]

The public lands within the Otay Mountain Wilderness are one of the last remaining pristine locations in western San Diego County. Adjacent to the Mexican border, it is internationally known for its diversity of unique and sensitive plants. The area plays a critical role in San Diego's multi-species conservation plan. [4] :306

Natural history

Tecate cypress Cupressus forbesii Survivor Tree Coal Canyon.JPG
Tecate cypress

The San Ysidro Mountains are remnants of a chain of ancient volcanoes from which meta-volcanic soils form, sustaining a diverse chaparral community dominated by chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), [9] mixed chaparral and coastal sagebrush habitats. [10]

Flora

The world's largest stand of Tecate cypress (Cupressus forbesii) are found at Otay Mountain Wilderness, as are at least 15 plant species that are candidates for federal listing as threatened or endangered species. In all 37 plant species found on Otay Mountain are listed as sensitive by the California Native Plant Society, at least five, including the Tecate cypress, occur only on Otay Mountain or in the immediate are. [10]

Particularly important species include: [9]

Southern mountain misery Chamaebatia australis 5.jpg
Southern mountain misery

Endangered species [11]

Rare species [11]

Fauna

Coast horned lizard Phrynosoma coronatum.jpg
Coast horned lizard

The diversity of habitats within the wilderness area maintains a variety of indigenous fauna, including a number of rare or endangered species. The most numerous large animal is the mule deer. [4] :11–12]

Species of special concern on Otay Mountain include: [10]

Bighorn sheep New Mexico Bighorn Sheep.JPG
Bighorn sheep

Endangered species

Protected species [4] :11–12]

Border wall

In the mid 1990s, as part of Operation Gatekeeper, [13] Department of Homeland Security contractors began to build a border wall, [14] and associated access roads. [15] The initial phase of wall building extended from San Diego only as far as the foothills of Otay Mountain. [16]

An environmental impact statement carried out prior to a waiver of an environmental law, required to allow construction within the wilderness area, concluded that the work on the border wall would have long-term impacts on plant, animal and water courses within the area. Grading and construction of roads in the wilderness area would result in removal of layers of topsoil and delicate, intertwined root systems that protect dry chaparral habitat from erosion. [12] The wall itself disrupts the ability of migratory animals, like the javelina, to roam freely across its natural range. [17] In December 2008 work began to continue the wall's progress through the wilderness area, [17] under the auspices of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

See also

Notes

IUCN category obtained from Protected Planet: Otay Mountain State Ecological Reserve entry. Retrieved March 2015.

Related Research Articles

San Ysidro, San Diego Community of San Diego in California

San Ysidro is a district of the City of San Diego, immediately north of the U.S.-Mexico border. It neighbors Otay Mesa West to the north, Otay Mesa to the east, and Nestor and the Tijuana River Valley to the west; together these communities form South San Diego, a practical exclave of the City of San Diego. Major thoroughfares include Beyer Boulevard and San Ysidro Boulevard.

South Bay (San Diego County) Region of the San Diego Metro Area in San Diego County

South Bay, also known as South County, is a region in southwestern San Diego County, California consisting of the cities and unincorporated communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Lincoln Acres, National City, and South San Diego.

Otay Mesa, San Diego Community of San Diego in California

Otay Mesa is a community in the southern section of the city of San Diego, just north of the U.S.–Mexico border.

San Diego–Tijuana International transborder agglomeration in Southern California and northwestern Baja California

San Diego–Tijuana is an international transborder agglomeration, straddling the border of the adjacent North American coastal cities of San Diego, California, United States and Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The 2012 population of the region was 4,922,723, making it the largest bi-national conurbation shared between the United States and Mexico, the second-largest shared between the US and another country. In its entirety, the region consists of San Diego County in the United States and the municipalities of Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and Tecate in Mexico. It is the third most populous region in the California–Baja California region, smaller only than the metropolitan areas of Greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

<i>Hemizonia</i> Genus of flowering plants

Hemizonia is a genus of plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae). They are known generally as tarweeds, although some tarweeds belong to other genera, such as Madia and Deinandra. Furthermore, Hemizonia is currently being revised; some species may be segregated into new genera.

Hosackia crassifolia, synonym Lotus crassifolius, is a species of legume native to Washington, California and Oregon. It is known by the common names big deervetch and broad-leafed lotus.

<i>Cupressus forbesii</i> Species of conifer

Cupressus forbesii, now reclassified by some as Hesperocyparis forbesii, and with the common names Tecate cypress or Forbes' cypress, is a species of cypress native to southwestern North America.

<i>Lepechinia ganderi</i> Species of plant

Lepechinia ganderi is a rare species of perennial shrub in the mint family known by the common name San Diego pitcher sage or Gander's pitcher sage. An aromatic plant with white to lavender flowers, this species is only known from southern San Diego County in California and a small portion of Baja California, occurring on chaparral or coastal sage scrub in metavolcanic soils. Because of its limited range, it is under threat from growing urbanization and increased fire frequency.

San Ysidro Mountains Mountain range in southern San Diego County, California

The San Ysidro Mountains are a mountain range in southern San Diego County, California. The range extends for a short distance into Baja California. The San Ysidro Mountains are part of the Peninsular Ranges System.

<i>Fremontodendron mexicanum</i> Species of shrub

Fremontodendron mexicanum is a rare species of shrub in the mallow family known by the common names Mexican flannelbush, Mexican fremontia, and Southern flannelbush, that is endemic to the central Peninsular Ranges in Mexico and the United States.

San Diego County, California County in California, United States

San Diego County, officially the County of San Diego, is a county in the southwestern corner of the state of California, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,298,634, making it California's second-most populous county and the fifth-most populous in the United States. Its county seat is San Diego, the second-most populous city in California and the eighth-most populous city in the United States. It is the southwesternmost county in the 48 contiguous United States, and is a border county.

San Ysidro Port of Entry Border crossing between Mexico and the U.S.

The San Ysidro Port of Entry is the largest land border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, and the fourth-busiest land border crossing in the world with 70,000 northbound vehicles and 20,000 northbound pedestrians crossing each day, in addition to southbound traffic. It connects Mexican Federal Highway 1 on the Mexican side with Interstate 5 on the American side. The San Ysidro Port of Entry is one of three ports of entry in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region.

Palm City is a neighborhood in the southern section of San Diego. It neighbors Otay Mesa West to the south and east, Egger Highlands and Nestor to the west, and Chula Vista to the north. It also serves as a gateway to the beach cities of Imperial Beach, and Coronado, by way of the Silver Strand isthmus, due to it being where California State Route 75 meets Interstate 5. Major thoroughfares include Coronado Avenue, Hollister Street, Beyer Boulevard, and Palm Avenue.

Savage Dam is a dam across the Otay River in the San Ysidro Mountains of southwestern San Diego County, California. It is a concrete arch gravity structure 149 feet (45 m) high, and serves to store water from the San Diego Aqueduct's third pipeline for backup municipal uses in the San Diego metropolitan area. It is just over 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Chula Vista and 4 miles (6.4 km) north of the United States-Mexico border. The dam is named in honor of H. N. Savage, who directed its construction.

Transportation in San Diego–Tijuana occurs by various means. Though, in the four cities of San Diego, Tijuana, Tecate, and Rosarito Beach, the automobile serves as most important means of transportation. The international metropolitan region maintains an intricate highway infrastructure. As a large metropolitan area in Western North America, many roadways, including Interstates, State Routes, and Mexican Federal Highways, hold a terminus in the area. These roads have grown accustomed to support the masses of the commuting populace within the international region and are constantly being expanded and/or renovated. Transportation is a crucial issue in the metropolitan area. The streets and highways of the region affect environmental health and have influence over the degree of regional connectivity. Binational discussions about coordinating public transportation across the border are currently underway. San Diego–Tijuana is the site of two major international airports and numerous regional airports. It is also the site of the Port of San Diego and miles from the nearby Port of Ensenada.

Otay Mesa Port of Entry Border crossing between Mexico and the U.S.

The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is one of three ports of entry (POE) in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region, in the U.S. state of California, connecting Otay Mesa in the City of San Diego with the Otay Centenario borough of Tijuana. The facility was opened in 1983, and was constructed primarily to divert growing commercial truck traffic from the busy San Ysidro Port of Entry. Since then, significant passenger vehicle and pedestrian traffic has grown as development in the area around the crossing has grown. Commercial importations through Otay Mesa accounts for billions of dollars' worth of freight.

Tecate Port of Entry Border crossing between Mexico and the U.S.

The Tecate Port of Entry is one three ports of entry in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region. The land port is located between Tecate, California in San Diego County's Mountain Empire and Tecate Municipality in Baja California. It connects California State Route 188 with Paseo Lazero Cardenas, a spur of Mexico Federal Highway 2, as well as Federal Highway 3 to the south. It is a minor port in comparison to the larger San Ysidro Port of Entry and Otay Mesa Port of Entry. This is attributed in part to the fact that reaching the crossing on the US side requires driving on narrow, winding mountain roads.

Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature preserve owned and operated by the San Diego Audubon Society (SDAS). Silverwood was set up in 1965 to preserve coastal chaparral and riparian woodland habitats. It is also a nature education facility for San Diego area schoolchildren and adults, and functions as part of a wildlife migration corridor.

East Otay Mesa is an as-yet undeveloped area in the South Bay region of unincorporated San Diego County, southern California.

Otay Mountain

Otay Mountain is a mountain located in San Diego County, California. It is the highest summit of the San Ysidro Mountains. The mountain is located inside the Otay Mountain Wilderness Area. The physical border separating Mexico and the United States has received criticism for the harm it allegedly perpetuated to the environment, both in its construction and in its very nature.

References

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  2. Backpacker, (May 2001) Vol. 29 No. 195 page 82 Active Interest Media, Inc. ISSN 0277-867X Retrieved March 2015
  3. 1 2 Longmire, S. (2014) Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer page 62 Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN   1137443731 Retrieved March 2015
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Congress (U.S.) (2004) Congressional Record, V. 144, Pt. 17, October 7, 1998 to October 9, 1998, page 24176 Government Printing Office. ISBN   0160680832 Retrieved March 2015
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  6. Harmon, D., McManamon, F.P. & Pitcaithley, D.T. (2006) The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation page 127 University of Arizona Press. ISBN   0816525617 Retrieved March 2015
  7. "Otay Mountain information". summitpost.org. July 2010. Retrieved March 2015.{{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
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  9. 1 2 Faber, P.M. (2005) California's Wild Gardens: A Guide to Favorite Botanical Sites page 194 University of California Press. ISBN   0520240316 Retrieved March 2015
  10. 1 2 3 United States. Bureau of Land Management. California State Office California Wild!, Fish & wildlife 2000 series publication page 40-41 The Bureau. Retrieved March 2015
  11. 1 2 United States. Bureau of Land Management. California Desert District (1985) Preliminary Wilderness Recommendations for the Western Counties Wilderness Study (western San Diego and Western Riverside Counties), California ; Prepared by Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, California Desert District Appendix A The District. Retrieved March 2015
  12. 1 2 3 "Otay Mountain Wilderness". attheedges.com. March 2015. Retrieved March 2015.{{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. Eastman, C.L.S (2008) Civil Society on the Line: Examining the Relationship Between Media and Activist Groups Along the Arizona/Sonora Border page 93-94 ProQuest. ISBN   0549508554 Retrieved March 2015
  14. Azaransky, S. (2013) Religion and Politics in America's Borderlands page 169 Lexington Books. ISBN   0739178636 Retrieved March 2015
  15. Adamson, J. & Ruffin, K.N. (Eds)(2013) American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons page 152 Routledge. ISBN   1135078831 Retrieved March 2015
  16. Tuer, D. (2005) Mining the Media Archive: Essays on Art, Technology, and Cultural Resistance page 162 YYZ Books. ISBN   0920397352 Retrieved March 2015
  17. 1 2 "Bulldozing Nature". utsandiego.com. February 2009. Retrieved March 2015.{{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help)