Tejon Ranch Conservancy director to address Audubon

Kerncrest Audubon will start off the year with an informative meeting in the Indian Wells Valley on Thursday, Jan. 17. It is free and the public is invited.

The program, featuring a guest speaker from Tejon Ranch Conservancy, will be at the Maturango Museum at 7 p.m.

Tom Maloney, executive director of the Tejon Ranch Conservancy, will provide an update on the progress and programs of the conservancy since its establishment in 2008. Maloney became the conservancy’s first executive director in February 2009 with 15 years of experience as a conservationist, environmental advocate, natural resource planner and ecologist.

Maloney will speak about conservation at the historic Tejon Ranch, the land use agreement of 2008 and the formation of the Tejon Ranch Conservancy.

His talk will focus on the ecological significance of Tejon Ranch (located south of Bakersfield near the top of the Grapevine) and all the conservancy is doing to plan for the stewardship of and public access to the 240,000 acres of conserved lands on the ranch.

Tejon Ranch, the largest contiguous private property in California, sits at the confluence of four major ecological regions.

Each of these ecoregions is represented on the ranch, and the configuration of the ranch creates conservation linkages of continental significance.

This significance led to the signing of a visionary agreement in June 2008. The conservancy started work immediately on fulfilling its mission.

Maloney, who recently served as the North and Central Coast ecoregional director for the Nature Con-servancy, started his career as the first river steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council.

He left the Watershed Council to join the Nature Conservancy in establishing the Plymouth Pinelands Program in Plymouth, Mass., where the focus was the conservation of globally rare pine barrens and coastal plain ponds.

In 2005 Maloney joined the California program of the Nature Conservancy. The focus of that work was on conservation planning for the Carrizo Plain National Monu-ment and land conservation in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Maloney holds a BA in economics from Boston University and an MS in resource management from Antioch New England. Since 1997 he has also served as a natural history tour guide on three continents.

Story First Published: 2013-01-09