Nearly 15,000 Acres of Wind Wolves Preserve Permanently Protected

November 18, 2021
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.

The California Rangeland Trust, The Wildlands Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land are proud to announce a permanent conservation agreement of 14,631 acres on the 93,000-acre Wind Wolves Preserve in Kern County. Completed in conjunction with The Wildlands Conservancy, a California-based nonprofit, which owns and manages the property, and the Trust for Public Land, this is the first installment in a series of conservation agreements on the Preserve with the Rangeland Trust.

The Preserve sits in an ecologically unique region where the Transverse Ranges, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley influences converge. Due to elevation ranges from 640 to 6,005 feet, the Preserve has an impressive array of landforms and habitats that serve as a critical landscape linkage and wildlife corridor between the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada. As a result of the conservation agreement between the Rangeland Trust and The Wildlands Conservancy, several threatened and endangered species will benefit from the permanent protection of habitat, including the San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard.

The Wildlands Conservancy employs cattle grazing on the Preserve as a primary tool to manage invasive species, mitigate the threat of wildfire, and maintain the land’s natural resources and scenic beauty. The conserved portion of the Preserve is home to 3,500 cattle, and more are utilized across the rest of the property. As part of its dual mission, The Wildlands Conservancy provides free public access to Wind Wolves Preserve. More than [60,000] visitors enjoy free hiking, biking, camping, and interpretive programs each year. Additionally, thousands of school children visit the preserve annually to partake in free educational opportunities offered by The Wildlands Conservancy.

Conservation of the Preserve was funded through the United States Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program, whose mission is to make military installations more resilient to climate change and land use conversion. The Wind Wolves Preserve falls under the high-altitude supersonic corridor for military installation training exercises for the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station and Edwards Air Force Base. Through funding from the REPI program, the United States Air Force and Navy are ensuring both natural changes and development will not affect their ability to carry out testing and training necessary to prepare our warfighters for combat.

Michael Delbar, California Rangeland Trust CEO, stated, “We are proud to have had a hand in helping to conserve this remarkable working landscape that provides great value for so many different groups. Not only will the land be protected as critical open space surrounding the US military’s supersonic corridor, the land’s natural resources will also be forever protected for humans and wildlife alike.

The project was also generously supported by the John S. Kiewit Memorial Foundation. Thanks to the partnership between the Trust for Public Land, Wildlands Conservancy, and the Rangeland Trust, this land will never be developed so it can be enjoyed and utilized by Californians for generations to come.

“This is the first step in permanently protecting the Wind Wolves Preserve in its entirety to ensure that Kern County students are able to continue to use this space for outdoor education and all Californians are able to benefit from access to this beautiful space,” said Alex Size, Southern California Land Protection Director for The Trust for Public Land. “This portion of the property will now remain protected for wildflower viewing, hiking and research. The Trust for Public Land looks forward to working with all our partners to protect the remaining acreage of this stunning property.”

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About California Rangeland Trust

California Rangeland Trust is a non-profit 501c3 organization headquartered in Sacramento, California. Dedicated to conserving open space, natural habitat and stewardship provided by California’s ranches, the organization has 20 years of impact on California’s quality of life and open land. It has permanently protected over 365,000 acres of rangeland, providing clean air and water, vibrant habitat for wildlife, and healthy foods that benefit all Californians. To learn more, visit www.rangelandtrust.org.

About The Trust for Public Land 

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

About The Wildlands Conservancy

The Wildlands Conservancy, a California nonprofit organization, owns and stewards the largest nonprofit nature preserve system in the state that includes 22 preserves across 190,000 acres of diverse landscapes. These preserves are open to the public free of charge for passive recreation such as hiking and wildlife viewing. To nurture the land stewards of the future, The Wildlands provides free outdoor education opportunities for youth, and is the largest nonprofit provider of free outdoor education programs for underserved kids. To learn more about The Wildlands Conservancy, or to get involved, visit wildlandsconservancy.org.