Sign up for 2011 hikes at www.tejonconservancy.org
By Chuck Noble
The Tejon Ranch Conservancy bravely held a community meeting on the night of the first game of the world series last week. It was to update the public about what the conservancy is doing to preserve and provide access to Tejon Ranch lands.
Tom Maloney, executive director, began with a slide presentation about the unique diversity of the lands right in our backyard. Mike White, conservation science director, explained that the ranch contains four ecologic regions: grasslands of the Mojave Desert, pine forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, chaparral of the south coast and oak woodlands of the great Central Valley. White explained that nearly 100,000 acres of grasslands on Tejon Ranch are among the last remaining in California.
Maloney reviewed how the agreement to create the conservancy was signed on June 17, 2008. He spoke of hopes for the future, including a plan to realign 38 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail passing through the ranch, cutting miles off the present route and giving a breathtaking view of the valley.
There is also a plan to buy conservation easements for 62,000 more acres from Tejon Ranch Company. The November 18 agenda of the Wildlife Conservation Board (with the Department of Fish and Game) includes a request for $15,800,000 in grants to buy five linkages and corridors to prevent fragmentation of conservancy lands as Tejon Ranch development proceeds.
Tejon Ranch Company’s grazing, hunting, filming, mining and real estate development activities will continue. White spoke about developing science-based resource management plans. The conservancy plans to recruit citizen scientists in regional partnerships and to open up the conservancy to student research. They plan to work with conservation groups to achieve mutual goals. Guided hikes for environmental education groups, local schools and the public are being scheduled for 2011 (see www.tejonconservancy.org to participate).
Pizza and snacks were served as questions were answered by conservancy staff. About 60 people attended.
—Patric Hedlund contributed to this report
This is part of the November 05, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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