Tejon Ranch Conservancy eNews November 2019

On the Ranch

By Operations Director Tim Bulone

Even without the Santa Ana winds, it seems you can’t escape the swirling leaves eddying in open spaces like patios, or sidewalks and gutters, or among the exposed roots of the giant trees that shed them. They crunch beneath our feet in a way that seems both sad and satisfying at the same time.

We bring out our sweaters and coats, in anticipation, if nothing else, of the colder weather we know is coming. And with the time change, we find the inviting lights of home already on when we arrive in the evening. The sounds of evening itself become clearer in the cold air, children busy chattering about their day or their friends, excited pets expressing joy at our arrival, the clatter of dishes and bowls being set for dinner.

There is a hum to this time of year, if you listen deeply. It has a richness to it. Perhaps it is our ancestral relief that we have gathered our harvests and stacked our wood for the long nights ahead, perhaps it is the anticipation of the fullness of the holidays that hold meaning for us, perhaps it is the certainty that the seasons have changed once again, as they always have, and promise to always do, despite the uncertainty of our otherwise oft-confounding world.

Thankfulness seems almost natural in this context. It’s not as difficult, this time of year, to find things for which to be thankful. I’m certain that if you woke up this morning, you can think of at least one thing to be thankful for. As we head toward that one great American holiday, Thanksgiving, we pay tribute in our own words, for the honor we hold here at the Tejon Ranch Conservancy.

As for you, I’d bet there’s something you are especially grateful for this year. While you ponder that very thing, let us just say Happy Thanksgiving to you now. And thank you for who you are to us.

Photo by Laura Pavliscak


"The Tejon Ranch is such a treasure. There is nothing like a quiet afternoon deep in the Ranch listening to the wind in the trees and an occasional bird call." —Senior Docent and California Naturalist Chris Gardner

"I am grateful to be in a place that keeps me connected to nature and its beauty. To be able to spend my day touring, hiking, and photographing the grand landscape of such a special place is a dream come true." —Public Access Assistant Reema Hammad

"Throughout history, many have played a role in shaping the legacy of Tejon Ranch, from people of the First Nations, Spanish explorers, the Beale and Chandler families, the Tejon Ranch Company, and many a Ranch hand, just to name a few. I am thankful for those in the past who rolled up their sleeves and did the necessary work of their day. We have inherited a great treasure – the fruit of their labor – one that cannot be valued in mere quantitative terms. More recently, I am thankful for the opportunity to do the work of our day, responsibilities endowed to us by those who had the vision to preserve, protect, and restore the amazing natural resources and ecosystem services on Tejon Ranch." —Conservation Science Manager Mitchell Coleman

"It’s impossible to identify just one thing about Tejon that I am grateful for. I guess I am most thankful that hundreds of thousands of acres of trees and plants and elk and bobcats and California condors and purple martins will remain as they are – forever." —Administrative Coordinator Susan Chaney

"If I am grateful for one thing, it’s that the Tejon Ranch Company knew what a valuable treasure the lands of the Tejon Ranch truly are in acting to conserve them more than a decade ago and inviting others to help them in this great experiment. Lying at the intersection of four distinct eco-regions, the value of these lands to generations of human and nonhuman lives is…incalculable. It’s great to know that these lives will play out as they always have for many years to come.

"There is another debt of gratitude to be paid, as well, and that is to the many people who have given their time and money to see that this important work is done. I’m talking about our visionary and stalwart board members, hardworking docents and volunteers, thoughtful donors, life-changing philanthropists, and our loyal members, who helped shape the Tejon Ranch Conservancy from a spark of an idea into the organization it has become, on a mission to protect, enhance and restore that which is most important to us." —Operations Director Tim Bulone

"I adore Tejon Ranch with its majestic vistas, landscapes, wildlife, sunrises, sunsets, and rich history. Our family owned property adjacent to Tejon Ranch and I have fond memories as a young boy jumping off boulders, kicking dirt, and smelling the fragrant vegetation. I am grateful for the Tejon Ranch Conservancy's staff and their dedication to the legacy, and preserving the matchless beauty of Tejon Ranch." —Docent Dick Taylor

"I am grateful for the absolute best job in the world! I work outdoors in some of the most stunning California landscapes imaginable, I get to meet and learn from fantastic people: teachers, students, visitors, scientists, docents, and volunteers. I work with the kindest, most passionately dedicated and committed staff there is. And I get to touch the lives of people, plants, and animals in a positive way, making the world just a little bit better. How fortunate am I?" —Education Coordinator Paula Harvey

"The Conserved Lands on the Tejon Ranch are quite an extraordinary "island" in an ever increasing crowded State. With 4 ecological regions, our work can be widely varied and always interesting. In fact, for me, everyday that I work for the Conservancy I learn something new and there are always surprises. When we define a stewardship opportunity, it is very rewarding to plan and then complete that project with a team of great volunteers. Working with enthusiastic and dedicated people makes the work even more rewarding. Where can you see condors and Golden Eagles in a single day? Where can you see several Eagles, not just one. Where can you witness the changes in migration of birds throughout the season like in this large, mostly unspoiled place. The Conserved lands are so special. It can be quite moving to experience this place." — Senior Docent and California Naturalist Steve Justus

"I'm truly grateful for my time at the Conservancy, a place that has brought me joy and friends who all care for the preservation of the Ranch, but also each other. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to be a participant in this year's internship program and to continue on as a volunteer. I truly appreciate all the moments spent on the Ranch or at the office, and the meeting of the many people who walk through our doors who are always willing to share with me their wisdom. It's all these moments shared with all these amazing people that make me grateful for the reflection of the past, enjoyment of the present, and excitement for the future. It was all these humble moments here and the enjoyment of this time that has reminded me of a quote by stoic philosopher Seneca, who said it best, 'True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have.'" —CSU Bakersfield Intern Eneas Torres-Andrade

Photo by Laura Pavliscak


Cross-Ranch Tour - November 10, 2019

Join us for a driving safari exploring all four ecosystems on Tejon Ranch. We'll start in the San Joaquin grasslands, climb into the blue oak woodlands, enjoy lunch in a conifer forest, then descend into the high desert. We might discover Rocky Mountain elk, deer, pronghorn, burrowing owls, and other interesting wildlife along the way.

Cross-Ranch Tour - November 23, 2019

Same tour as above, but on a Saturday.

Cordon Ridge Hike - November 24, 2019

A guided 5- to 6-mile hike on the gently sloping back roads of Cordon Ridge. Elevations range from 5,000 to over 6,000 feet. The hike is considered moderate to strenuous, depending on your fitness level. Possibility of fall foliage, depending on weather conditions.

Opt Outside Hike - November 29, 2019

"Opt Outside" on the day after Thanksgiving. Spend, spend, spend Black Friday on a leisurely hike in the oak grasslands of Tejon Ranch.

The Small Print

Please register early, seats are first come, first served. Events may be canceled and access may not be granted for any reason including, but not limited to, severe weather, hazardous conditions, not enough registrants for a specific event, actions that are incompatible with with the 2008 Conservation and Land Use Agreement, etc. Event registration is mandatory and no person may be substituted for another. Those not registered will not be allowed access to the property. Pets and smoking are not allowed on the Tejon Ranch.

Photo by Ben Teton

VIDEO: Just another day to be thankful

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Thank you!

Tejon Ranch Conservancy E-News produced by co-editors Tim Bulone and Susan Chaney. If you'd like to contribute to E-News please let us know.

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Tejon Ranch Conservancy