Since its inception more than 25 years ago, Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) has been a partner with federal, state and local government agencies, and the private community, working in partnership to protect, preserve and restore valuable natural habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Land acquisition is an essential element in the fight to balance the needs of humans and nature. Recognizing the preservation needs of biologically rich and diverse areas pertinent to the survival of the Santa Monica Mountains ecology has helped MRT to earn grants and funding for acquisition of the special places.
To establish a healthy wildlife and recreation network within the Santa Monica Mountains, parklands must link coastal and inland areas. While recent accomplishments in acquiring such areas as Ahmanson Ranch and King Gillete Ranch (acquired from SOKA University) have made great gains to this goal, 30,000 acres remain on the park agency's wish list.
MRT works closely with local, state and federal park agencies to negotiate with willing sellers who want to help in developing the planned network. However, in an area where real estate is prime, acquiring these lands usually takes multiple funding sources, as well as professional negotiation. Private support and grant dollars are vital revenue streams that MRT actively pursues along with assisting in the land negotiating transactions and facilitating land donation gifts from generous civic-minded owners.
MRT's major holding, the Cold Creek Preserve, protects the headwaters of Cold Creek, one of the few year-round streams in the Santa Monica Mountains. In 1984, with the transfer of 525 acres from The Nature Conservancy, MRT established the Cold Creek Canyon Preserve. MRT continues expanding this pristine wilderness which now exceeds 1,500 acres and includes 13 waterfalls, numerous species unique to the Santa Monica Mountains.