ON THE RANCH
By President and CEO Bob Reid
The world of conservation is ever changing, always challenging, and filled with potential. The Tejon Ranch Conservancy has witnessed all of this…and knows changes are indeed, inevitable. I will be retiring from my role as President and CEO, confident in the progress of the past three and a half years, as well as in the organization’s 10-year history. It takes allies to make conservation of this magnitude possible, and we’ve had many through the years.
Top photo and photo at left by Laura Pavliscak
The landmark 2008 Ranch-Wide Agreement (RWA) was a historic achievement, creating the Conservancy and placing 240,000 ecologically significant acres into conservation—in itself, a pretty remarkable accomplishment. Due to circumstances that no one could have anticipated, and beyond anyone’s control, the economic collapse and recession that same year impacted the future flow of funding intended to support the Conservancy beyond 2021. By far, this remains the Conservancy’s biggest challenge and one we are all hopeful will be met. The Conservancy board has been working diligently to identify the best pathway forward, keenly aware of the importance of the historic RWA.
In order to preserve resources to address this financial challenge, the Conservancy Board of Directors has had to make several difficult decisions. This includes moving forward with a smaller staff by not filling vacant positions (President and CEO, Conservation Communications Manager, Public Access Manager, as well as the Stewardship Manager position vacated in August). The Conservancy is hopeful these moves will help it prepare for the future and support its core mission of advancing conservation values here at Tejon Ranch.
Photo by Charles Noble
The Conservancy will proceed under the capable direction of Conservation Science Director C. Ellery Mayence, Ph.D., and supported by Operations Director Tim Bulone, Biologist Mitchell Coleman, Administrative Coordinator Susan Chaney, Education Coordinator Paula Harvey, and Public Access Assistant Reema Hammad.
Challenges certainly remain, but the Tejon Ranch Conservancy is very fortunate to have so many friends and advocates, and with your continued support and understanding, it will weather the changes, meet these challenges, and seize its potential.
So with great respect and appreciation, I’ll say one last time: See you on the Ranch!
President and CEO
THE MATCH IS ON!
Good news, our year-end challenge is growing, with nearly $25,000 raised so far.
And now some great news…our challenge donor has increased her gift by $10,000 to $60,000, and lowered our matching amount by $10,000 to $40,000.
WOW…that’s pretty amazing, but we need to keep going to meet the February 12 deadline! So please help the Conservancy MEET ITS MATCH and raise just another $15,000.
Let’s work together to use this gem of nature, the Tejon Ranch, for students to discover, to explore, and to learn.
The Tejon Ranch Conservancy is a 501c3 non-profit organization and all gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. If you've already given, thank you!
Photo at left: Students from the Bren School study use of drones in environmental work.
After five years of rewarding work with the Conservancy, Ben Teton is leaving us to pursue a new conservation venture. Ben started as a Wildlife Biologist and evolved to Conservation Communications Manager. He established an extensive wildlife camera network on the Ranch, led the USDA APHIS wild pig study that put Tejon on the map in terms of modern animal tracking and identification, and provided hours of great wildlife video enjoyed by thousands of fans on social media and in this monthly ENews. The culmination of this effort was Ben’s work on the recently released short video, “I Am Tejon,” a soon-to-be-launched website, and creating the last several issues of ENews.
Ben had great dedication to the Conservancy, its amazing wildlife and terrain, and the science it all supported, as well as to the importance of wildlife conservation worldwide. We wish Ben well and thank him for being such an important part of the Conservancy.
We’d also like to thank Chris Fabbro for helping to build up the Public Access program at Tejon, opening up old relationships and building new ones with numerous agencies and groups including California Conservation Corps (pictured here), Hungry Valley and Fort Tejon State Parks, F.I.E.L.D. Institute, Volunteer Vacations and the U.S. Forest Service, to name a few.
Public Access events became more creative, diverse, and frequent during his tenure as Public Access/Education Manager. The education program was also greatly expanded and, working with Education Coordinator Paula Harvey, outreach to schools grew significantly, as did the number of visitors eager to visit the Ranch.
Chris would be the first to say it couldn’t have happened without volunteers, and he brought his experience working with hundreds of volunteers at Angeles National Forest to Tejon, building an expanded docent program with trained naturalists eager to share their knowledge, led by Chris’ enthusiasm and gusto for the great outdoors, and for Tejon Ranch. We wish Chris well and thank him for helping to share the Conservancy with the public.