Originally this area was called the Sierra de San Miguel, and later called Jardin de Los Naranjos, the land is now called Tsegyalgar West/Los Naranjos. The ancient Las Palmas and Pericu indigenous cultures of Baja Sur encountered, and were ultimately vanquished by the “explorers, pearlers, and pirates” who arrived in the 1500’s.
The usual story ensued of domination by the Catholic culture of Europe. “The Cape became an important stopover for Spanish galleons returning with treasure from Manila, and soon after, a base for pirates who came to prey on those galleons.” In the 1700’s the Missions and the Indians fought it out to the death.
After the era of the missions, the Cape Region remained isolated and slow to change. The needs of a new stamp of mariners–whaler, traders and sea otter hunters–encouraged settlers to live at Cabo San Lucas and San Jose and engage in raising cattle which could be sold to nearly every ship that put in. However, “Uncontrolled goat grazing has impacted the health of the landscape even more than cattle grazing.”
It’s important to remember that a watershed consists not only of the drainage channels in an area, but also the land between the drainages. Overgrazing has led to a loss of vegetative cover in the broad fabric of the landscape, reducing its capacity to store water in soils and plant material. This is the fundamental source of erosion in the whole of the watershed.
With this perspective, we are dedicated to protecting the 600-800 year old figs, and endangered black palms, and all the special topical drylands flora and fauna at Tsegyalgar West. To do so, we, of course, encounter the “open range” ranchero culture, which, we now know, is centuries old. And we know that rancheros themselves are endangered.
Yet this is a park now, under our stewardship, and with solar, compost toilets, natural spring water, and fences, we hope to make a difference, after these several hundreds of years of invasion by domestic animals,
Fortunately, the air and water are remarkable, as is the vegetation and wildlife, so gradually and patiently, we intend to protect and be protected by this amazing landscape.