Jalama Canyon Ranch, a 1,000-acre property that is the epicenter of some of the region’s largest contiguous ranches, is now protected under a conservation easement held by the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County.
Funding from state, local and private entities, as well as a $1.7 million grant from the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, a statewide climate investment program, will help protect the Lompoc ranch in perpetuity.
“When we conserve land in perpetuity we mean forever and then some. Deals like Jalama Canyon Ranch bring new financial resources to our region, help secure our local food systems, create new partnerships, and support the climate resilience our shared future depends on,” Land Trust Executive Director Meredith Hendricks said in a statement.
According to a news release, the partnership with the SALC program is the first time the program has funded land conservation efforts in the region. The Land Trust is looking forward to using this funding source to advance its lineup of conservation projects and expand opportunities for farmers, ranchers and agricultural landowners in the county.
“The Jalama Canyon Ranch easement illustrates the Land Trust’s unique ability to connect diverse groups and bring new funding sources to the county, strengthening local economies and food supply chains,” the organization said in a news release.
The ranch is owned by White Buffalo Land Trust, though the county’s Land Trust now holds the conservation easement.
Through this partnership and under the terms of the easement, “vineyard, livestock and new agroforestry operations will evolve with innovative agricultural management practices implemented by WBLT while the property functions as a wildlife corridor, allowing various species to move freely between the ranch and the neighboring 25,000-acre Dangermond Preserve and Vandenberg Air Force Base,” according to the news release.
“We believe regenerative agriculture has the power and potential to align conservation, agriculture, and commerce for the long term health of our communities,” Steve Finkel, founder and president of White Buffalo Land Trust, said in a statement. “This partnership approach at Jalama Canyon Ranch is a significant step toward that vision.”