Wind Wolves Preserve
Wind Wolves Preserve, also known as Wind Wolves Ranch, has long been a destination for Californians who love hiking, nature watching, mountain biking, and camping. During wildflower season, it’s a must-do for those seeking the awe-inspiring beauty of California wildflowers. Thousands of school children also visit the preserve annually to partake in educational opportunities offered by The Wildlands Conservancy. Every student who goes to public school in Kern County attends the environmental education program at Wind Wolves. But, like many places in California, Kern County is developing fast. When we learned that some of this land might be sold to private developers, we sprang into action to make sure kids in Kern County didn’t lose their wild, outdoor classroom.
The Trust for Public Land teamed up with California Rangeland Trust and Wildlands Conservancy to permanently protect this treasured space. In 2021, we protected a 14,631-acres of the 93,000-acre preserve, and we plan to save more of this land in the years to come. 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 into the supersonic corridor for military installations and training exercises for the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station and Edwards Air Force Base. If the Preserve were to have been developed down the road, this could have limited the military’s ability to carry out key tasks.
This enormous property also sits adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest, Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, and Fort Tejon State Park. By permanently protecting this property, we’re adding to the vital wildlife corridor known as the South Coast Missing Linkages project, a regional network of protected land that maintains and restores habitat linkages between public land. Truly a wild place, the only wolf tagged in California was tagged on the property. Thanks to this partnership, this land will be kept undisturbed and open to the public for generations to come.