The California Rangeland Trust is thrilled to announce the release of a new short film, celebrating 20 years of protecting California’s open range. After 20 years of conserving life on the range, we were reminded that the stories of our partners in ranching conservation are our greatest capital. They’re stories about hope, healing, a better future, and a cleaner planet. They’re stories about stewardship and heritage.
We wanted to capture these stories in a whole new way. In the state of California, 62% of open space is private rangeland. These stories matter for all of us because they are about resources we share—clean water, open spaces, safe protein sources, carbon storage, fresh air, endangered species habitat, renewable energy, wildfire prevention, and restored soil.
Renowned director Chris Malloy and his team at Farm League partnered with us in this project. Chris is a celebrated world-class surfer and Santa Barbara rancher. He has been an ambassador, director, and creative strategist for the Patagonia brand for the last 14 years. Chris’ films include 180° South, The Fisherman’s Son, and Thicker Than Water. He has directed global ad campaigns for Ford, Jeep, RAM, Coors, and Yeti. Chris is completely committed to rangeland conservation and created a film no one else could have, told through a lens of empathy and shared passion.
The film profiles ranchers from across the state of California, including Steve Hearst, VP and General Manager of Hearst Western Properties; Scott and Karen Stone of Yolo Land & Cattle; Marilyn Russell from the Sagehorn-Russell Ranch; and Katie Isaacson of El Chorro Ranch. Key guests echo the importance of ranching, including Nita Vail, CEO of the California Rangeland Trust; Lynn Huntsinger, Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Management at UC Berkeley; and Angelo Genasci, co-chair of the Rangeland Trust Legacy Council and third-generation Sierra Valley rancher.
Through their voices, the film paints a picture of ranching in California and illuminates emerging science on the value of rangeland and grazing. The result is a message of hope for the future, guided by principles of the past, stewarded by the ranchers and conservationists of the present. It’s an incredibly positive and exciting message, and one that impacts all Californians.
This film has a story to tell and it’s one that needs to be heard, but we can’t do it without you. Please join us in sharing this film with your friends and loved ones – help them to see their own connections to these landscapes. Let’s see if we can make this message go viral! Together, we can inspire Californians to work together toward a better future for all of us.