Historic conservation pact receives prestigious environmental honor
LOS ANGELES–Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced that the Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land Use Agreement has won the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in recognition of the historic conservation pact signed by Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE:TRC) and America’s leading conservation and environmental organizations.
The Governor’s Award, California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor, recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, and building public-private partnerships. Awards are given in ten categories. The landmark agreement is a winner in the Environmental and Economic Partnerships category.
Past winners of this prestigious award in that category include the Hearst Ranch Conservation Project and the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve Trust. Pardee Homes, one of Tejon Ranch’s partners in the development of the community of Centennial, won in 2005 in the category of Sustainable Practices for its “Living Smart” green building program.
The unprecedented conservation pact is the largest private conservation agreement in California history and will permanently preserve up to 240,000 acres – 90% of the historic Tejon Ranch. That’s nearly three times the size of the Hearst Ranch Conservation Project. The agreement protects and expands foraging habitat for the California condor, safeguards other threatened or endangered species such as the San Joaquin kit fox, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard and the Tehachapi slender salamander. It permanently protects an unbroken expanse of open space more than seven times the size of San Francisco, open space that’s home to native grasslands, oak woodlands, Joshua trees and conifer forests.
The agreement between Tejon Ranch Company and Audubon California, Endangered Habitats League, Natural Resources Defense Council, Planning and Conservation League, and the Sierra Club, also created the Tejon Ranch Conservancy, an independent non-profit organization that recently concluded its first year overseeing continued stewardship of the conserved lands.
The award specifically recognizes Robert A. Stine, President and CEO of Tejon Ranch Company, and Eneas Kane, President and CEO of DMB, Tejon Ranch’s partner in its Tejon Mountain Village development, for their leadership in negotiating the Agreement.
“This historic agreement to protect a California treasure illustrates something that I have stressed since taking office — we can protect California’s environment at the same time we pump up our economy,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
“The Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land Use Agreement is consistent with our vision to preserve California’s legacy and provide for California’s future, as the Agreement does both” said Robert A. Stine, Tejon Ranch Company’s President and CEO. “This agreement is good for conservation, good for our company and good for California.”
“Our company has deep history and experience in forging accords and settlements that work toward long-term solutions with the environmental and conservation communities,” said Eneas Kane, President and CEO of DMB, “and we are humbled to have been a part of one of the great conservation achievements in California history.”
Tejon Ranch is currently engaged in the development of the communities of Tejon Mountain Village and Centennial. Tejon Mountain Village, a mountain resort development in the Tehachapi Mountains is one of the greenest, most ecologically sensitive communities of its type ever proposed in California. Centennial, a master planned new town in northwest Los Angeles County, likewise places a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental sensitivity, evidenced by the fact that Centennial will be the first major development in Los Angeles County to comply with both the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals and the county’s green building ordinance. In addition to the aforementioned Pardee Homes, Tejon Ranch Company’s partners in the development of Centennial include Lewis Investment Company and Standard Pacific Homes.