Legacy: Europeans settled the coastal regions of southern California more than 300 years ago. The magnificent land was rich with sweeping valleys of oak savannahs, lush oak woodlands, vast stretches of native grasslands and abundant wildlife. The area is now home to close to 10 million people.
MRT History: In 1981, MRT, an adjunct of the State Coastal Conservancy, was formed by the California Coastal Commission and the California State Coastal Conservancy to assist the Coastal Commission with required mitigation in the Santa Monica Mountains.
In 1984, The Nature Conservancy transferred the 525 acre Murphy Preserve to MRT. So, although originally formed to facilitate mitigation agreements, within its first four years, the Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) had acquired nearly 1,000 acres for protection, restoration and preservation. Armed with a staff of environmental, finance, business and legal professionals, MRT has become a leader in conservation, and a trusted partner in developing sound, eco-management initiatives.
To date, MRT has acquired more than 6,000 acres throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, more than 350 parcels preserved for their significant ecological value and habitat. See acquisitions...
In 1991, MRT added the Cold Creek Valley Preserve to the Cold Creek Canyon Preserve, an ecologically rich parcel which was under constant threat of development. MRT used the land to bring new awareness to communities by connecting conservation to recreation, socialization, culture and education.
In 1992, MRT and the California State Parks initiated the Commemorative Oaks program in Malibu Creek State Park. With the help of volunteers, non-native vegetation has been removed and replaced with more than 2,500 oak trees. Since initiating the Commemorative Oaks program, MRT has completed numerous restoration projects and has become a valuable partner with state and local government agencies in environmental management.
In 2002, MRT acquired the property known as Headwaters Corner where the 100-year old Masson Homestead is located. The oldest part of the house was built in the mid-1890s, and renovated in 1924. The house is now home to MRT’s educational activities, and an interpretive center that helps students learn about the interrelationship between man and nature. The historical significance of the house and its setting within the environment will be enhanced when the surrounding gardens and orchard are restored – a goal of MRT.
More history is available in MRT's newsletters...