On March 30, Newport Beach officials discovered an unauthorized trail cut into the southern canyon face of Buck Gully Reserve, nearest the Poppy Avenue trailhead.
City officials took “immediate action to secure the unauthorized trail and initiated an ongoing investigation,” a statement released on Friday explains.
Buck Gully Reserve is owned and managed by the city and consists of over 300 acres of lush wilderness and serves as home to numerous federally and state protected animals and plants. It is also part of the Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan, which identifies and provides for the regional protection of plants, animals, and their habitats.
Given the protected designation of Buck Gully, multiple authorities were notified including California Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Communities Coalition, the County of Orange and the California Coastal Commission, the press release notes.
“The area has been documented using drone footage and photographs, which are being analyzed to assess the damage,” the statement reads. “Once the investigation is complete, the city will work with each agency to discuss how to proceed with enforcement and restoration of this precious habitat.”
Residents can help by staying out of the unauthorized trail area for their safety and habitat preservation, officials urged.
For more information, visit newportbeachca.gov/buckgully or call the Recreation and Senior Services Department at (949) 644-3151.