East County Plan

A great deal of collaborative work has gone into development of the East County Plan, including release of a preliminary draft map in 2008. Unfortunately, County budget constraints and staffing reductions have caused progress of the East County Plan to slow significantly. Once the budget and staffing constraints are resolved, plan development is intended to resume.

For all parties who have participated in development of the East County Plan to date, the dedication of time and interest is appreciated. The input and feedback from members of the Steering Committee, community groups, public, and other interested parties has been invaluable to the East County Plan. The MSCP Division looks forward to working with these groups in the future on the East County Plan. As additional information on the status of the East County Plan is available, interested parties will be notified.

The preliminary draft map may be viewed or downloaded.




The County of San Diego is in the process of developing a habitat conservation plan (the last of three) for the eastern unincorporated area. The habitat conservation plans will work together to protect sensitive plants, animals, and their habitats in the unincorporated areas. At present, the South County Subarea Plan is being implemented and draft North County Plan is in process.


The East County Study Area covers approximately 1.6 million acres and is bounded on the west generally by the western boundary of the Cleveland National Forest, on the north by the Riverside County, and on the east predominantly by Imperial County, and the south by Mexico. Tribal lands are excluded from the Study Area. The purpose of the East County Plan is to protect key plant and animal species and habitats within the County. This plan will maintain or improve the status of threatened and endangered species and reduce the need for future listings of species under the federal and state endangered species acts. The East County Plan provide for conservation while accommodating continued economic growth.

The East County Plan is a cooperative effort among the County,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Game. Authority for this process comes from the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act and section 10(a) of the federal Endangered Species Act that addresses habitat conservation plans.

Implementation of this program will result in the issuance of a permit to the County for incidental take of threatened and endangered species. Once the County obtains take authorization, it can provide third-party beneficiary status to applicants for projects that conform to the standards of the plan. The overall effect of the East County Plan is creation of a large, connected preserve that addresses the regional habitat needs for multiple species. The East County Plan will potentially provide coverage for many of the 253 sensitive species.


Preliminary Draft Map

Study Area

Parcel Ownership