CALIF. (KERO) — The Nature Conservancy announced the start of its largest nature preserve in California after a $50 million philanthropic gift by Frank and Joan Randall.
The preserve is a 72,000 in the Southern Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi Mountains and just over 100 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
The point of the preserve is to protect a crucial wildlife corridor and biodiversity hotspot.
The Joan Randall Preserve is helping create a critical linkage between Northern and Southern California that will help endangered species to move and adapt to a changing environment.
The preserve will cover a range of land from the Sequoia National Forest to conserved lands on the Tejon Ranch.
This helps wildlife meet their basic needs. They can avoid things like habitat loss, fragmentation and extreme climate events. The protection of this immense area ensures that 28 sensitive species across California, including slender salamanders, condors, legless lizards, golden eagles, primrose sphinx moths, mountain lions, badgers, and several endangered plants and blue oak trees, have the best chance of survival.
The Tehachapi terrain is an important part of creating a connectivity hub to help genetic flow between populations of species that have become isolated.
“What is striking about the Randall Preserve and this area of the Tehachapi’s is not only its rugged beauty, but also its unique topography. It goes from these very high elevations where you can see snow, all the way down to the Mojave Desert and the Central Valley, and everything in between,” said Mike Sweeney, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in California. “This preserve will also ensure a much-needed corridor for wildlife, like endangered mountain lions to the south, so they can mix and move, migrate and adapt.”
“Preserving open space has long been a passion of ours,” said Frank Randall. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. This area was under threat, but together with The Nature Conservancy, we’re doing everything we can to make sure this beautiful and ecologically diverse part of our state can stand the test of time for generations to come.”