Fanita Ranch

The steep slopes of the Fanita mountains shield the interior of the majestic Fanita Ranch from Santee’s urban development. Fanita’s natural urban growth boundary provides endangered species habitat and a golden scenic back drop of visual relief for the city. The northern interior of the ranch is a walk back in time with a unique serenity now unknown elsewhere in coastal San Diego County. Fanita brims full of wildlife and is considered biological core habitat by the Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP). Fanita Ranch is ground zero in the battle between potential developers and community activists determined to avoid the devastating impacts of a massive sprawl subdivision.


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Fanita Ranch provides habitat for 21 mammal species, 22 species of reptiles and amphibians, and twenty-nine species of butterflies (including the endangered Quino checkerspot) and over 100 bird species including the threatened California gnatcatcher and the endangered least Bell’s vireo. Fanita Ranch is an essential biological reservoir and serves as a strategic biological linkage to adjacent open spaces within the Multiple Species Conservation Program in San Diego County. Fanita’s steep unstable slopes act as a natural urban growth boundary, scenic viewshed and a logical extension of Mission Trails Regional Park.