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Gov. Schwarzenegger Applauds Historic Tejon Ranch Agreement

Big Ranch Saved from Overdevelopment 
 
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a historic agreement between Tejon Ranch landowners and conservation and environmental groups that will permanently preserve up to 90 percent of the expansive 270,000 acre ranch, which is the largest ever privately-conserved parcel of land (www.tejonranch.com). This means that 90 percent of Tejon Ranch will never become developed with houses. It will stay a sanctuary for animals and plants, especially the California condor, for which this has been shown to be a critical habitat.
 
•The success of environmental organizations and Tejon Ranch Co. in reaching this historic agreement to protect a California treasure illustrates something that I have stressed since taking office ... we can protect California's environment at the same time we pump up our economy,• Governor Schwarzenegger said.
 
Aside from being home to the California condor and countless other plant and animal species, the Tejon Ranch includes four of the state's most important ecological regions:  the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, the Coastal Range and the San Joaquin Valley.  With 30,000 acres set aside for the development of smart-growth and sustainable communities, this agreement also allows its landowners to develop enough of the ranch to create thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenue and exciting places for people to live.
 
Public access to the ranch, from the rolling grasslands to the knotted Joshua tree, has been promised. A 49,000-acre park will be carved out of some of the land where the ranch now runs cattle and harvests pistachios and walnuts.
 
Other Ranch-friendly Policies from Schwarzenegger
 
Ø Designated 40,000 acres of the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve as a California Natural Landmark. 40,000 acres of the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve became the first landmark to be designated through the California Natural Landmarks program. In 2006, the Governor signed AB 2900 by Assembly member George Plescia (R-San Diego) to create this voluntary program. The goal of the program is to help preserve the ecological and geographical characteristics of California while helping protect history and natural heritage.
 
Ø Finalized the 82,000 acre Hearst Ranch conservation plan. In February 2005, the Governor announced that the Hearst Corporation, American Land Conservancy and California Rangeland Trust partnering with the state had closed escrow on a conservation plan for Hearst Ranch. The plan preserved 128 square miles of pristine rangeland and is one of the most significant coastal land gifts ever made to the State of California.

By Chris Navarro
Get Ranch Jobs, Contributing Editor

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