Supervisors Set to Pass a Budget and Get Some Land

It’s a busy day over at the Orange County Hall of Administration this morning with the adoption of the 2010-11 budget and a 20,000-acre land transfer from the Irvine Company to the parks department.

The budget, which features a host of cost cutting (the toughest, say staffers, in years), will be adopted at the regular meeting.

There’s a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. to deal with the parks donation, which comes from the Irvine Company.

The land transfer has been controversial and generated a lot of interest from the environmental community. Former Los Angeles Times reporter Janet Wilson has covered the issue thoroughly for years and does a good job of explaining it.

Local environmentalists have been working with the county on the transfer. OC Parks Director Mark Denny said his staff has been meeting with the enviros a lot at the direction of the Board of Supervisors.

“I’ve think we’ve built relationships along the way, and it’s been a productive process,” Denny said.

He also said the transfer represents a huge step for OC Parks, which just a few years ago was refusing to accept any open space donations.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for our staff,” Denny said. “It’s another recognition of OC Parks in this regional recreation business. Our staff is really excited to be a part and manage it and connect people to it.”

In addition to habitat protection, the land will feature lots of human interaction in terms of equestrian, hiking and mountain biking trails, Denny said.