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August 18, 2017

Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust receives donation of 194-acre conservation easement in Ojai, California

Newly protected land eases important wildlife movement in critical areas

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OJAI, CALIFORNIA (July 18, 2017)  -- The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has announced the donation of a 194-acre conservation easement in Ojai, California from the Conservation Endowment Fund established in 1981 by the John Taft family.

The easement will provide connectivity and safe passage for wildlife who live among the surrounding protected lands and prohibit agricultural uses that would add pollution to the watershed. This property, protected by the U.S. Congress more than 50 years ago, represents 27 percent of the remaining private land in the Lake Casitas watershed and supplies drinking water to over 100,000 people in Ojai and Ventura.

John Taft, chairman of the CEF, says: “We chose The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust to protect this vital California habitat in perpetuity due to its focus on the protection of wildlife habitat and willingness to ensure no additional development of the land with its accompanying deleterious effects on the watershed. Our property has been managed for the benefit of wildlife since 1980 when I purchased it, even before donating it to the CEF, and our board wanted to ensure it would remain protected.”   

Ben Callison, president of the Trust, says: “The generosity of the CEF, along with the Trust supporters, is critical to the survival of wildlife and protection of land for future generations. We strongly urge anyone who cares about wildlife to learn about and support permanent habitat preservation programs,”

From the rock formations that span the northern and eastern boundaries in the Los Padres National Forest, the land drains into Santa Ana Creek which then flows southward beyond the sanctuary and shortly into Lake Casitas providing necessary water for wildlife along the way. Lush grasslands and flower fields, California oak woodlands, and scrub and chaparral on the land support bears, mountain lions, mule deer, gray fox, migratory songbirds and hawks.

A conservation easement is a permanent and legally enforceable agreement between a landowner and a land trust. The landowner agrees to establish the property as a permanent wildlife sanctuary - an agreement that is binding on all future owners of the property - and the Trust enforces the terms of the agreement. The terms of this easement with the Trust include the prohibition of hunting and trapping, something critical to the Trust’s mission.

Media Contact: Katie Feldman: 240-258-1563; kfeldman@humanesociety.org

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization. Since 1993 the Trust has participated in the protection of more than 400,000 acres of wildlife habitat in 39 states, and nine foreign countries, including 3,363 acres in California. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. For more information visit www.wildlifelandtrust.org.

 

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