After decades of planning, Anza-Borrego Foundation has purchased a key piece of land that connects to major state parks, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

The tract of land is located southwest of Sunrise Highway, roughly four miles from the intersection with state Route 79, and will eventually be handed over to the state as part of Anza-Borrego State Park.

By connecting the two parks, the purchase is being heralded as critical wildlife habitat that will allow animals to travel uninhibited between the two regions of the state park system.

The foundation purchased the 1,130-acre section of the Lucky 5 Ranch in the Laguna Mountains from the Daley family for around $3 million, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The foundation bought other portions of the ranch in 2001 and has since handed it over to the state park system.