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California Director Documents Rangeland Conservation In New Film

Patch logo Patch 9/18/2018 Hoa Quách

CALIFORNIA -- A new documentary by a California director explores how residents can protect the Golden State's open spaces through restorative grazing, carbon storage, renewable energy, wildfire prevention and other practices.

The film, directed by Santa Barbara rancher Chris Malloy and California Rangeland Trust, tells the story of private rangeland, which accounts for about 62 percent of California’s undeveloped land. In addition, 67 percent of threatened or endangered species spend part of their lives on open ranchland. Over 85 percent of California’s fresh water runs over ranches, officials with California Rangeland Trust said.

“I have sought to tell ranchers’ stories demonstrating how this historic stewardship is still essential to our shared future,” Malloy said. “California Rangeland Trust communicates the harmony between environmental goals and the value of working landscapes. I am proud to stand beside them in sharing how ranchers serve as exemplary stewards of California’s natural resources.”

a herd of cattle standing on top of a grass covered field © Provided by Patch

Mallow said the film is aimed at shifting the way people think about rangeland and ranchers, and "to demonstrate how the ranching way of life can truly change our environment."

Nita Vail, CEO of California Rangeland Trust, described rangelands as "critical" yet few residents understand its importance to the environment.

“Rangelands are critical habitat for clean air and water, plants, and wildlife,” Vail said. “Conserving working rangelands is not just for ranchers, it’s not just for people in rural communities. It’s for all of us in California. It’s bigger than all of us. This is about healing our planet.”

Vail added that "much of California is being lost to development."

California Rangeland Trust is nonprofit dedicated to conserving open space, natural habitat and stewardship provided by California’s ranches. Now in its 20th year, the organization has permanently protected more than 320,000 acres of open rangeland to provide clean air and water, vibrant habitat for wildlife, and healthy foods that benefit all Californians, officials said.

“California Rangeland Trust is one of the rare organizations that has a powerful common ground in the dynamic conversation over land use with a politically diverse and highly respected network,” said Angelo Genasci, co-chair of Legacy Council at California Rangeland Trust. “We are moving the needle to conserve California’s working ranches that provide stewardship, open space and natural habitat for future generations.”

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--Photos courtesy of California Rangeland Trust


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