Wildlife Coordinator, Tejon Ranch Company
Tejon Ranch, CA
By way of an introduction, Tony Mattias shouts “Everyone put one hand up in the air! Now just one finger!” We stand in a slightly stunned crescent around this man whose mustache alone would warrant authority, waiting for the next enthusiastic instruction, or an explanation of why our pointer fingers stick skywards like a garden of toothpicks. We get the explanation. “You are here on one of five days a year that the wind isn’t blowing 95 miles per hour,” he grins. We are most certainly lucky, because our task at the Tejon Ranch today involves relieving the meadow and surrounding hillsides of a three-strand barbed wire fence presenting mobility issues to the local wildlife. A stern-looking kidder, Tony shows us how to cut and wrap the barbed wire into wheels before we go on to wrench, wriggle, and beg the fence posts from the loose soil.
By Katie Hardy