KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KGET) — Thursday, the California Rangeland Trust, with California non-profit the Wildlands Conservancy, announced a permanent protection agreement covering almost 15,000 acres of land within the Wind Wolves Preserve, according to a news release.
This is the first step in a series moving towards total protection of the 93,000-acre preserve.
“We’re looking at the next best area on the preserve to cover as many acres as we can,” Frazier Haney, executive director of the Wildlands Conservancy, told 17 News. “It should be directly adjacent to the west of the current area.”
Haney added the next area they want to focus on includes a large watershed with drainage from Salt Creek and Pleito Canyon. Haney said they hope to take the next step within the next 24 months.
Wind Wolves Preserve is the west coast’s largest wildlife preserve hosting more than 60,000 visitors per year, according to Haney. It encompasses land from the Transverse Ranges, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley.
“This is the first step in permanently protecting the Wind Wolves Preserve in its entirety to ensure that Kern County students are able to continue to use this space for outdoor education and all Californians are able to benefit from access to this beautiful space,” said Alex Size, Southern California Land Protection Director for The Trust for Public Land, in the release.
Michael Delbar, California Rangeland Trust CEO, added, “Not only will the land be protected as critical open space surrounding the US military’s supersonic corridor, the land’s natural resources will also be forever protected for humans and wildlife alike.
Conservation of the Preserve was funded through the United States Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program.