All gifts, large or small, help to safeguard wildlife habitat, local food supplies, clean air, and water, and preserve our Western culture by allowing families to maintain the tradition of ranching. Thank you for helping the Rangeland Trust in protecting what matters.
An initial survey identified more than $25 million of opportunities to support vital Rangeland Trust activities as it continues to grow as a respected land trust serving far more than ranchers.
All Californians benefit from protected wildlife habitat and grasslands, improved air and water quality, and open landscapes unsullied by uncontrolled development.
GENERAL SUPPORT (ANNUAL)
Unrestricted support allows the Rangeland Trust leadership to respond to basic operating needs, and provides basic funds for staffing, travel, and infrastructure. The General Funds are unrestricted and can be applied where needed most.
CURRENT PRIORITY PROJECTS
The Rangeland Trust has identified several priority projects on our list:
Rock Front Ranch | San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara Counties | $600,000
Located in the Cuyama Valley, 25 miles northeast of Santa Maria, the ranch’s 350 acres include a natural wildlife corridor from the Cuyama River but is threatened by conversion to intensified agriculture. It is habitat to 22 rare plants and up to 35 special status animals, including the California red-legged frog.
Preserve Varian Arabian Horse Ranch | San Luis Obispo County | $2.5M
This 190-acre historic Arabian horse ranch is in the path of intense development from rapidly expanding viticulture activity and subdivision housing projects. A $2.5 million conservation fund to purchase the development rights will create an easement to preserve the heritage of the most important Arabian ranch in America.
This ranch will continue in operation by present management until it is sold (by special estate plans) to a suitable buyer. All proceeds from the sale and other related funds will belong to the California Rangeland Trust to be leveraged for conserving other working ranches in California.
OUTREACH FUND (ANNUAL GOAL) $100,000
Education is a vital part of the Rangeland Trust’s work. Funding would create opportunities for a targeted outreach effort to bring urban and suburban adults onto a working ranch to see first-hand its immediate and longer-term value to the people living and working in California and the vibrant habitat ranches provide for California’s wildlife.
Funding also would be applied to bring youth onto a working ranch to take part in the concepts and responsibilities of ranching, observe farm-to-table processes, and learn about career options within agriculture including ranching.
SUSTAINABILITY FUND $1.5M
To ensure that existing easement projects are stewarded in a responsible and timely manner, this fund can be applied to long-term monitoring or tapped when land trusts are tested in new ways. Savings from projects can be banked for unforeseen circumstances and to ensure seamless operations during challenging times.
CEO DISCRETIONARY FUND $60,000
This fund gives Rangeland Trust leadership the opportunity to act to hire a consultant, run a feasibility study, or take advantage of an unusual situation that would help move the organization forward.
The Rangeland Trust operates in an efficient and cost-effective manner, with a lean staff and large program tasks. An endowment of $21 million will cover core operating costs (approximately $1 million a year) and help guarantee its ability to manage its increasing acres under conservation—while likewise continue adding valued rangeland in perpetuity.
The Rangeland Trust has been highly successful in its first 20 years with ample access to public funds. As reliance on private funding increases, having a sound Endowment in place is part of its solid future plans—forever watching over California’s rangeland for generations yet to come.
DEMONSTRATION RANCH FUND $2.5M (a future project)
The Rangeland Trust’s successful Ranch Tour program demonstrated the value of maintaining a working ranch property where students, adults, and families can take part in hands-on ranching experiences. The site would be leased to an area rancher or ranching family and provide ongoing annual income to the Rangeland Trust. While there will be ongoing educational programs taking place on this site, parts of the ranch could be used to test and evaluate programs for both ranchers and others who live in or work in California. The profit would provide another source of revenue to help support additional projects.