Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) and OC Parks are thrilled to announce the reopening of OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, with public activities resuming on February 5, after two wildfires impacted the area in fall 2020. Since the occurrence of the Silverado and Bond fires, IRC and OC Parks have been diligently working to restore lost infrastructure and monitor the recovery of native habitats.
“Nearly all of OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve burned in the 2020 Silverado and Bond fires, including large portions that actually burned twice. These incidents significantly impacted the wildlife and landscapes that are close to the hearts of so many who visit and volunteer at Limestone Canyon,” said OC Parks Supervising Park Ranger II Nick Martinico. “We observed this closure to allow a rest period for wildlife, time for habitat regrowth and to rebuild infrastructure. We deeply appreciate the public’s patience and support and are now eager to once again host activities at Limestone Canyon starting with our Wilderness Access Day in February.”
Throughout the closure, IRC staff monitored the health of the land and replaced important infrastructure that was lost during the wildfire events. The IRC Infrastructure and Planning Crew have used fire resistant materials to replace the West Sinks viewing deck, installed new trail signage and improved trails that were significantly impacted by fire and firefighting operations.
“Limestone Canyon is home to important, high-quality habitats including oak woodlands that wildlife in the area rely on for food and shelter,” said IRC Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Nathan Gregory. “Our team worked closely with OC Parks Rangers to monitor conditions throughout Limestone Canyon during the closure. Unfortunately, the lack of rain this past year meant continued stressful conditions for wildlife and slower vegetation regrowth. However, we now feel that the situation has sufficiently improved to handle the impacts of public activities, and we are excited to host the community out on the land once again.”
On Saturday, February 5 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., OC Parks and Irvine Ranch Conservancy will host the first Wilderness Access Day in Limestone Canyon since 2020. To register for Wilderness Access Day and upcoming guided activities offered in Limestone Canyon, visit LetsGoOutside.org.