Conservation Science Director, Tejon Ranch Conservancy
Tejon Ranch, CA
Though he is busy devising an ecological management plan for the entirety of the Tejon Ranch, Mike White spends the morning with us, laughing at our outrage when he tells us we only missed pop-star Rhianna by a week. “They do a lot of filming out here. Mostly commercials. A lot of car commercials. Just last week, Rhianna was out here filming her music video.” You can see the appeal of this place. The ranch is a beautiful and surprising blend of four very different Californias – the Mojave, the Sierra-Nevada, the Coastal Range, and Oak Chaparral. But more importantly, the ranch holds a unique blend of the flora and fauna of each—not to mention human development, recreation, and cattle grazing. Just outside the glow of L.A., the Tejon Ranch Company has development rights on just 10% of the ranch, the biggest contiguous privately owned piece of land in the state. Mike’s job is to handle the other 90%. After one day with the Westies, it has one less fence.
By Katie Hardy