Conserving grazing land, protecting wildlife corridors and offsetting effects of urban development.
A few years ago, the Rominger family’s farm was almost divided when the Bruce and Rick Rominger’s second cousins decided to part with their share of the land. Searching for a way to keep the property intact, the Rominger brothers partnered with the California Rangeland Trust to permanently conserve a portion of the property. In 2018 and 2019, they completed the sale of two conservation easements on a large segment of their family’s ranch consisting of 2,376 acres, nearly all of it rangeland.
While these conservation easements serve as an important component in the Rominger family’s succession planning efforts, the conservation easements are also benefiting the community at large. Urban encroachment has left its mark around the historic property and farmland has started to move into the hills and mountains in the surrounding area. The Romingers are concerned about the overall impact on the state’s ecosystem.
“We can’t keep putting land into production forever. Eventually, there will be no wild lands left,” said Bruce Rominger. “When we have an opportunity—especially near an urban area like this—to preserve some of that and to say, ‘OK, this is never going to be converted, this is going to stay grazing land forever and a place for wildlife,’ I think it’s something we ought to consider.”
Farmers and ranchers like the Romingers present an accurate picture of food production in the United States. They are a hardworking, educated, and passionate family that cares about every aspect of their land and considers themselves the land’s stewards and providers. In their decision to partner with the California Rangeland Trust, the Romingers are conserving grazing land, while forever protecting a critical wildlife corridor and offsetting the negative side effects of urban development in the area.