Source: The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
Just four miles south of Lompoc lies a 1,000-acre basin of fertile rangeland with spectacular views, a storied past, and a hopeful future. Jalama Canyon Ranch is now protected under a conservation easement held by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. The successful funding effort included state, local, and private entities, with the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC) awarding the Land Trust a $1,782,500 grant to protect the 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,” says Land Trust Executive Director Meredith Hendricks. The Land Trust is pursuing an ambitious pipeline of conservation projects, expanding its network of local, state, federal, and private funding sources to leverage dollars for large scale conservation with a balanced approach centering people, ecology, and the economy. The Land Trust’s efforts continue to result in increased public funding and long-term investment in the future of Santa Barbara County agriculture and the next generation of land stewards.
This new partnership with the SALC program and the resulting grant is the first time the program has funded land conservation in this region. The Land Trust is looking forward to the opportunities this new funding source will unlock for many more Santa Barbara County farmers, ranchers, and agricultural landowners and the ensuing land conservation gains throughout the community. 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.
While the Land Trust holds the conservation easement, Jalama Canyon Ranch is now owned and managed by White Buffalo Land Trust, a regenerative agriculture and community education nonprofit. The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County’s simultaneous purchase of the conservation easement with SALC funding provided nearly a third of the money WBLT needed to purchase the ranch. The result is a cornerstone achievement for both White Buffalo’s mission and the Land Trust’s expertise in brokering mutually beneficial agreements with significant long term conservation value today as well as in the
future. “We believe regenerative agriculture has the power and potential to align conservation, agriculture, and commerce for the long term health of our communities. This partnership approach at Jalama Canyon Ranch is a significant step toward that vision,” says Steve Finkel, founder and president of White Buffalo Land Trust.
Jalama Canyon Ranch is a 1,000-acre parcel of working land including significant wildlife habitat, with rare Tanoak woodland and other native plant communities. 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.
The Land Trust will continue to approach land conservation as an opportunity to achieve conservation goals by crafting versatile solutions that work for everyone involved, bringing people together to make the most of conserving Santa Barbara County’s natural resources and landscapes.
About Jalama Canyon Ranch
Jalama Canyon Ranch is 1,000 acres just 8 miles from the Point of Conception. It shares over 1 mile of boundary with the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve and sits at the epicenter of some of the largest contiguous ranches in Santa Barbara County. Jalama Canyon Ranch will model regenerative agriculture at scale in a financially viable way; serving as a center for education and training, scientific research, and removing the barriers to rapid and broad adoption of regenerative agriculture locally, regionally and globally. Learn more at www.whitebuffalolandtrust.org.