South Pasadena couple donate $50 million to New California Nature Preserve – Pasadena Now

Frank and Joan Randall [Credit: Jenna Schoenfeld]

Philanthropist and South Pasadena native Frank Randall and his wife Joan Randall have donated $50 million to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for the preservation of a 72,000-acre wildlife corridor in the southern Sierra Nevada and the Tehachapi mountains.

Five times larger than Manhattan, the Frank and Joan Randall Preserve, now considered California’s largest nature preserve, will ensure the protection of the country’s rare, endangered and threatened species.

According to The Nature Conservancy, the Randalls pledged to create the reserve in October 2019. The donation was made in 2020 but TNC announced it in an email Thursday after the purchase of the Loop Ranch in Tehachapi was completed. , which officially created the Frank and Joan Randall Reserve last December.

“He (Frank) was particularly moved by the scale and importance of the Tehachapi project during a tour there in 2019, where he committed a transformational gift of $50 million to make the reserve a reality. “, recounted Sweeney.

“This was a one-time gift and not related in any way to his previous donations. This gift was the culmination of over 30 years of involvement with The Nature Conservancy,” the Conservancy said.

Sweeney said the creation of the reserve ensures that 28 sensitive species across California, including slender salamanders, condors, legless lizards, golden eagles, primrose hawkmoths, cougars, badgers and several endangered plants and blue oaks, have the best chance of survival.

In a statement to TNC, Frank said he and his wife made the donation to ensure people and nature can thrive in future generations.

“As we think about the incredible number of species that depend on this land, we must remember that we are one of them.”

“Nature is resilient, and by protecting critical areas like this, we can give nature the chance to adapt to change, and ourselves a chance for a better future.”

As accelerating climate change continues to increase habitat loss and fragmentation, Frank said he believes people should take bold steps to protect open spaces to protect the species that live there. .

“In my lifetime, I have witnessed massive changes in the state of nature and seen open spaces disappear in Southern California.”

“Time is not on our side. We must act now. That’s why Joan and I are so happy to see this reserve come to fruition and to know that we’ve done everything we can to ensure this special place is here and in good hands now and in the future.

In addition to Randalls’ donation, the establishment of the reserve was also funded by public and private donors, including the Wildlife Conservation Board, Department of the Marine, CalTrans, Resources Legacy Fund, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and National Fish. and Wildlife. Foundation, among others, according to TNC.

The Frank and Joan Randall Preserve covers a wide range of land securing connections from the Sequoia National Forest to the Tejon Ranch Conserved Lands.

The TNC said this area is also one of the most important in North America because by connecting northern and southern California, it helps complete an intact network of open land from Canada to Mexico.

TNC plans to establish a system of resilient wildlife connectivity hubs in the reserve to allow species to move up and down the state and across elevations.

The TNC, working with stakeholders, will embark on a multi-year planning process to study and understand everything in the area as well as how to unite nine separate ranches with active cattle operations into a single reserve.

Until the planning process and management plan are complete, TNC said the majority of the reserve will remain under existing ranching operations.

To learn more about the Frank and Joan Randall Preserve in the Tehachapi Mountains, please visit:

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