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South Pasadena Couple Donates $50 Million for New California Nature Preserve

Published on Friday, January 7, 2022 | 5:38 am
 

Frank and Joan Randall [Credit: Jenna Schoenfeld]
Philanthropist and South Pasadena native Frank Randall together with his wife Joan Randall donated $50 million to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for the preservation of a 72,000-acre wildlife corridor in the Southern Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi Mountains.

Five times the size of Manhattan, the Frank and Joan Randall Preserve, now considered as the largest nature preserve in California, will ensure the protection of rare, endangered and threatened species in the country.

According to The Nature Conservancy, the Randalls made a pledge for the creation of the preserve in October 2019. The donation was made in 2020 but TNC announced it in an email Thursday after completion of the purchase of the Loop Ranch in Tehachapi, which officially created the Frank and Joan Randall Preserve last December.

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

“This was a single gift and not tied in any way to his previous giving. This gift was the culmination of over 30 years of involvement with The Nature Conservancy,” the Conservancy said.

Sweeney said the creation of the preserve ensures that 28 sensitive species across California, including slender salamanders, condors, legless lizards, golden eagles, primrose sphinx moths, mountain lions, badgers, and several endangered plants and blue oak trees, have the best chance of survival.

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

“As we think about the amazing number of species that depend on this land, we need to remember, we’re one of them.”

“Nature is resilient, and by protecting critical areas like this one, we can give nature the chance to adapt to change, and ourselves a chance at 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 in order to protect species living there.

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

“Time is not on our side. We need to act now. That’s why Joan and I are so excited to see this Preserve come to fruition, and to know we made every effort to ensure this special place will be here and in good hands now and into the future.”

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

The Frank and Joan Randall Preserve covers a sweeping range of land securing connections from the Sequoia National Forest to conserved lands on the Tejon Ranch.

The TNC said this area is also one of the most significant in North America because by connecting Northern and Southern California, it helps complete an intact network of open space lands from Canada to Mexico.

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

The TNC, in collaboration with stakeholders, will embark on a multi-year planning process to study and understand all that is contained in the area as well as how to unite nine separate ranches with active cattle operations into one preserve.

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

To learn more about the Frank and Joan Randall Preserve at the Tehachapi Mountains, please visit: nature.org/randallpreserve

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5 thoughts on “South Pasadena Couple Donates $50 Million for New California Nature Preserve

  • What a wonderful thing they have done. So tired of hearing about people who have large amounts of money doing harm. The Randall’s are using their money for the good of all. All I can do is donate money occasionally to these nature stewardships. They have made the world a lot better. A very deep “thank you” to them for their fantastic generosity.

  • The Randall’s and all their fellow supporters with the view for the future they share, will always last forever as they wished to accomplish for all of us on this planet.