In 2008, Tejon Ranch Company unveiled a landmark conservation and land use agreement that provides the framework for conserving up to 90% of Tejon Ranch’s landholding. The conserved region amounts to 240,000 acres.
This is great news for the PCT.
A significant part of the plan includes a layered set of easements that will allow the PCT to be relocated from the floor of the Mojave Desert to the crest of the Tehachapi Mountains. This is in keeping with the original vision for the PCT. The relocation will follow the preferred route agreed upon by the U.S. Forest Service, the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Tejon Ranch Company.
The easement will permanently protect 37 miles of trail and 10,000 acres of trail corridor. The conservation easement, valued by the U.S. Forest Service at an estimated $12 million, is being donated by the Tejon Ranch Company. The land will continue to be owned by the Company and additional protection will be provided by the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. We are working hard to assure that the easements will assure an excellent trail experience for generations to come.
This is the largest relocation project since the trail’s official completion in 1993. It will fill the largest gap where the PCT does not follow the originally designated trail route or the crest of a mountain range.
The Tejon Ranch Company, an alliance of federal and state agencies and private conservation groups including the Tejon Ranch Conservancy and the PCTA are working on the project. It is a priority that we protect and facilitate management of important biological and cultural resources along the corridor. This exemplary new section of trail will protect habitat for the endangered California Condor and a variety of other threatened, endangered and sensitive plant and animal species and habitat associations.
Speaking to the press at Tejon Ranch in 2008, then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger praised Tejon Ranch, the PCTA and environmental groups for coming together on agreement that will be beneficial to both California’s economy and environment: “…when forward-thinking people, like the people that are standing here with me today, are willing to sit down and make something positive happen, those old battle lines can be terminated. In other words, there is a better way – and that better way is in full display right here today at this stunning California landscape.”
We thank the Tejon Ranch Company for agreeing to donate this easement.
There are still several steps to be taken. It will be many more years before we are able to break ground on the first steps of the new trail. The project will include off-trail campsites and access to critical water sources. Once the easements and plans are in place, we will enter an exciting era of building this new section of the PCT through volunteer and youth crew projects.
Thanks for joining us for this exciting, but slow and necessary process. The PCT on Tejon Ranch will be fantastic. We will update this page as information becomes available.