What a remarkable year it has been! As we bounced back from the challenges of 2020, we renewed our commitment at the start of 2021 to work harder than ever and closer than ever to continue to fulfill the promises made to our landowner partners, our communities, and our donors who make everything possible. Below is a beautiful snapshot of what can happen when refuse to let anything hinder progress toward conserving the lands we need and love.
Here are just a few of our 2021 accomplishments:
More than 21,435 acres of rangeland were conserved across California! That means that an impressive 365,727 acres of working lands are now permanently protected through the Rangeland Trust. That’s not a number we take lightly. This was possible because of generous community support, federal and state agency grants, and partnerships with businesses seeking to offset development.
We advanced key partnerships that are helping to ensure that critical rangelands remain open and available for generations to come. In September, the Rangeland Trust and the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County completed conservation on the 2,731-acre Tranquillon Preserve in Santa Barbara County to mitigate for environmental impacts caused by the Strauss Wind renewable energy project. Then in October, the Rangeland Trust partnered with the Wildlands Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land to complete conservation on 14,631 acres of the Wind Wolves Preserve in Kern County; funding was provided by the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program to prevent future development that could impact the US Navy and Air Force’s supersonic corridor for military training exercises.
We kicked off efforts to expand the Rangeland Trust’s footprint in Southern California at the inaugural Bunkhouse BBQ. Held in partnership with the Moulton Museum, the event welcomed over 200 guests and served as a fantastic opportunity to “plant our flag” in Orange County.
In the fall, we joined together again out on the land for A Western Affair 2021. The event welcomed nearly 300 guests to Rancho Mission Viejo in San Juan Capistrano, CA and, thanks to the generous support of sponsors and attendees, raised more than $300,000 to conserve California’s magnificent rangelands and the many benefits they provide. And making the night even more special, for the first time ever, funds were raised in a single night to achieve conservation of a newly added piece of the Bufford Ranch! What an incredible reminder of how powerful this community is in furthering working lands conservation!
With support from our partners at Raley’s, we released a series of virtual ranch tour videos. This is part of the Rangeland Trust’s ongoing efforts to provide educational opportunities for people of all walks and ages to learn about where our food grows and grazes. The series covers a variety of topics including livestock production and handling, targeted grazing as a tool to mitigate against wildfires, sustainability practices, and soil health.
Thank you for being part of this journey and for helping ensure the Rangeland Trust can continue the good work of conservation with you no matter what.