LOS ANGELES (May 8, 2008) – An historic agreement announced today will permanently protect the largest contiguous, private landholding in California, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC and other leading environmental groups reached the agreement with the Tejon Ranch Co., providing for the conservation of 240,000 acres of the 270,000-acre Ranch property. Through the agreement, 178,000 acres will immediately receive permanent protection, and an additional 62,000 acres will be made available for public acquisition.
Following in a statement by Joel Reynolds, senior attorney and director of NRDC’s Southern California Program:
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for conservation of California’s wildlife heritage on a staggering geographic scale. Tejon Ranch is the critical biological connection in this state between the Sierra Nevada and the mountains of southern and coastal California, and this agreement provides for the protection of 90 percent of the property, preserves hundreds of thousands of acres of open space, and guarantees public access for generations to come.”
“We look forward to working with the Tejon Ranch Company, the newly-created Tejon Ranch Conservancy, and the California State Parks Department to create a major new state park within the lands to be conserved on the Ranch. This unprecedented land conservation agreement is intended to benefit all Californians, giving them access to the extraordinary landscapes and wildlife diversity found on Tejon Ranch.”
“This agreement is the product of an extraordinary team effort through two years of protracted negotiations, including senior representatives from NRDC, Audubon California, Sierra Club, Planning and Conservation League, and Endangered Habitats League. We applaud the leadership and commitment of the Tejon Ranch Company and its partners in this great achievement for wildlife conservation in California, and we look forward to an ongoing collaboration with them in implementing the agreement.”
For more information on the Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land Use Agreement, including a joint press release and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit: www.tejonpreserve.com