On the Ranch
By Conservancy President & CEO Bob Reid
Last month I wrote about the people who make conservation possible. Now I’ll ask, “Why do we need conservancies?” Maybe instead of restoring habitats and their inhabitants, we should be finding ways of not damaging them in the first place.
Think of all the lifeforms either driven to extinction or nearly so over the past century. Yes, there were many salvations and victories along the way—but why did we have to let it go that far? Were commerce, expansion, growth, and enterprise so important that they couldn’t be achieved without destruction? Obviously, we cannot do anything about the past, but we can be—and should be—doing more about our future.
The 2008 Land Use and Ranch Wide Agreement (RWA), creating the Tejon Ranch Conservancy and protecting 240,000 acres and its many lifeforms, was a big step in this direction here at Tejon. The Tejon Ranch is a private working ranch, and the RWA provided for “reserved rights” allowing the business aspects of the Tejon Ranch Company to continue, but to do so following best management practices (BMPs) for these various activities to minimize their impact on the landscape. A large part of our work at the Conservancy is working with the landowner to ensure this approach is working.
If we are successful, we leave behind an important conservation legacy. But it won’t happen on its own, nor will it succeed just because we want it to. It takes diligence, planning, thought, hard work, and a commitment to knitting together all the forces that come into play here at Tejon. It’s a complex approach in a complex environment simply aimed at conservation.
I want my grandchildren to live in a world that no longer needs to “rescue” species, but considers conservation no different than anything else—something we practice every day in every way. I want their grandchildren to experience condors, mountain lions, wildflowers, eagles, badgers, oaks, skinks, blue skies, chilly winds, and more, all as if it was perfectly natural—because it is.
Sadly, we do need conservancies. So I’m happy the Tejon Ranch Conservancy is here doing this work and invite you to help create this conservation future by joining with us here at Tejon.
See you on the Ranch!
President and CEO