Building on Strong Legacy

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Building on Strong Legacy
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lettuce (Photo: Bruce Reitherman, Conservation Director for the Land Trust)

Source: The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County

The California State Legislature presented the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County with a certificate of recognition, endorsed by Sen. Jackson and Assembly Member Limón. The accolade, which applauded the “organization’s work with property owners to preserve and protect key historical and natural resources,” was conferred during an event honoring Bill Dillon, a local environmental law attorney, and the Hibbits family, a fourth-generation ranching family the Land Trust has worked with since 2011. 

The Hibbits family received recognition for more than eighty years of dedication to the protection of agricultural lands in the county. The award highlights the Hibbits’ agricultural easement on their 395-acre ranch in Lompoc, in partnership with the Land Trust, as one of their most significant conservation accomplishments. 

Hibbits Family and Land Trust Awards

It is fitting that these awards coincide with the unveiling of the Land Trust’s ambitious 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, which seeks to improve the pace and quality of the work the awards commend. One key goal in the plan involves expanding the network of relationships between the Land Trust and families like the Hibbits – landowners, prominent community thinkers, and agricultural leaders who can help fuel the conservation of additional working lands.

The Land Trust’s Strategic Plan looks forward through the coming five years with specific and measurable goals. In addition to the one mentioned above, other goals include bringing total conserved acreage to 40,000 countywide, conserving at least one key property on the Gaviota Coast, and the possible establishment of a flagship recreation area for the people of the Santa Maria Valley.

“One of the most important innovations at the Land Trust over the past few years has been a discernable shift in the execution of our mission from an opportunistic and largely reactive organization to one that is proactive and strategic,” said Chet Work, the Land Trust’s executive director.

cowboy (Photo: Bruce Reitherman, Conservation Director for the Land Trust)

The California state award called on the Land Trust to “continue to make a positive difference…[for] future generations.” These words reflect the forward-thinking philosophy the Land Trust has embraced. With the Strategic Plan in hand, the Land Trust will work hard to continue making that positive difference.

Since 1985, The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County has worked with community groups, willing landowners and others to conserve, restore, and manage open space, wildlife habitat, and family farms and ranches throughout the County. To date, the Land Trust has helped to preserve more than 27,000 acres of natural resource and working land, including the Arroyo Hondo Preserve, Point Sal, Sedgwick Reserve, and the new Rincon Bluffs Preserve. Visit for more information.

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Red Creek Sep 23, 2019 10:21 AM
Building on Strong Legacy

One of the best non-profits in Central California. They work tirelessly to protect ag lands and open space through cooperative efforts with land owners and public supporters. They also provide environmental education and awareness field trips for pre-school to university groups at their beautiful Arroyo Hondo Preserve.

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