Winding through the Tehachapi Mountains just one hour north of Los Angeles exists what is arguably the most vital wildlife corridor in North America.
A vast collection of open landscapes, the corridor links the 2,000-mile-long Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountain Ranges to the east, and the 800-mile-long Sierra Madre, Traverse and Peninsular Mountain chain to the west.
At the base of this corridor is Parker Ranch — nearly 10,000 acres of rangeland dotted with blue oaks, buckeyes and scores of wildflowers each spring.
Working closely with the Parker family, The Nature Conservancy recently purchased a conservation easement on the ranch to protect it from development, regardless of future ownership. The easement will ensure this key segment in the wildlife corridor — and the Parker family’s ranching heritage — are preserved for generations to come...."Parker Ranch is truly a biological crossroads, linking meadowlands to valleys and hillsides to mountain ranges,” said E.J. Remson, project director with The Nature Conservancy.
But land development near Parker Ranch is pressing in from all sides.
"If this ecological link is broken, the repercussions on wildlife could be felt well north of the Canadian border, and deep into Mexico,” said Remson.