Federal Judge Dismisses Challenge to Ownership of Tejon Ranch Lands

FRAZIER PARK, CA (Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.)–A lawsuit contesting the ownership of Tejon Ranch land has been dismissed by Federal Court Judge Oliver Wanger of the Eastern District of California in Fresno.

Tejon Ranch Corporation issued business wire press releases yesterday about the dismissal. This is an excerpt:

The lawsuit claimed, among other things, that the U.S. Department of Interior had failed to recognize the legitimacy of the Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon and its claim to ownership of the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch in California.
The lawsuit was originally filed in November 2009 after the County of Kern approved development of Tejon Mountain Village, a joint venture of Tejon Ranch Co., the landowner, and DMB Associates, Inc. The court had given attorneys for plaintiff David Laughing Horse Robinson several opportunities to amend and revise the complaint before issuing its ruling.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” said Robert A. Stine, President and CEO of Tejon Ranch Co. “We believed from the very beginning that the claim was without merit.”

“Tejon Ranch has a remarkable legacy and Tejon Mountain Village will offer people the opportunity to experience that legacy for themselves,” said Eneas Kane, President and CEO of DMB Associates, Inc. “We are very proud of the hard work and planning that has gone into Tejon Mountain Village, which is destined to become a remarkable mountain resort community.”


Using the terminology frequently adopted in their press releases, Tejon Ranch goes on to recap the creation of a deal with conservation groups which is lauded by politicians and developers and criticized by some scientists and conservationists:

Tejon Mountain Village will play an important role in the historic Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land Use Agreement, negotiated by Tejon Ranch Co. and DMB Associates with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Planning and Conservation League, the Endangered Habitats League and Audubon California, in which the Ranch agreed to conserve 90% of its land and establish the independent Tejon Ranch Conservancy. The sale of most types of property within Tejon Mountain Village will generate an on-going funding stream for the operation and activities of the Conservancy.

This is part of the January 21, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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