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For Sale: 1 Natural Lake, Eco-friendly Want it to Remain Pristine

By Sandy Sand     Apr 5, 2009 in Environment
The largest natural lake in Los Angeles County is up for sale, or at least most of it is, including it’s legendary monster.
Lake Elizabeth, located in the Antelope Valley northeast of downtown Los Angeles, consists of 175 acres -- 16 of which are reserved for commercial use -- and 158 acres of wetlands and open water in a desert environment.
The lake itself, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which manages the Angeles National Forest, is nearly two mile long and 18- to 20-feet deep at its center, and is full or almost full year-round.
Once called La Laguna de Diablo, because early settlers claimed a monster lurked in its waters, the only monster might lie in the hands of whomever buys the lake and turns it into a commercial enterprise that will threaten the lake’s pristine nature preserve and haven for nature lovers, wildlife, birds and flora.
Its owner, Ridgetop Ranch Properties, Inc, a subsidiary of Big Sky, Mont., is asking $19.5 million for a portion of the land it owns. Jeff Johnson, Ridgetop’s CFO, said they would like the new owner to “preserve the property in its pristine state.”
But…the parent company Big Sky, said it won’t oppose development, such as a fishing club or cabins, causing great concern to environmentalists and local residents.
Their concern reached a high enough level for the Lakes Town Council to form the Valley Conservancy to work with state, county, federal officials and other agencies to raise funds to purchase the property, located at the headwaters of one of the nation’s most endangered rivers.
Jim Walker, a member of the town council and conservancy said:
"We're losing open space, habitat for our birds and wildlife corridors. This is a habitat that remains natural, but it's being proposed as a possible place for a fishing club, ski club or cabins and lodges, and those animals are not going to stick around if that happens."
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