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Redlands Conservancy

Mission: The Redlands Conservancy seeks to protect and preserve Redlands’ historic built environment and irreplaceable agricultural and natural environments while inspiring appreciation and a sense of stewardship in Redlands’ residents.

Fast Facts

ESTABLISHED: 1994
EMPLOYEES: 4
PARTNER: City of Redlands

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Q & A with executive director sherli leonard

What does Redlands Conservancy do to support area open spaces?
Redlands Conservancy works with all the regulatory agencies, local, county, state and federal, to implement laws relating to natural resource conservation. We involve the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District to conduct research on best practices for protecting the lands we manage, and for assistance in eradicating invasive plant species. We maintain working relationships with regional land trusts and conservation organizations.

What makes your conservation easement lands special?
Redlands Conservancy owns in fee one hundred acres of pristine riversidian alluvial fan sage scrub adjacent to the Santa Ana River wash. This land was purchased by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as mitigation for a Metropolitan Water District (MWD) water project, to protect the habitat of the endangered San Bernardino Merriam’s kangaroo rat.

The Conservancy holds conservation easements on 160 acres in San Timoteo Canyon. The land, known as San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary, has three distinct habitat types: riparian, grassland, and sage scrub. The Sanctuary serves as a wildlife corridor between inland areas and the San Bernardino Mountains.

The Conservancy also holds a conservation easement on 341 acres of canyonland in Live Oak Canyon. The property, known as Herngt ‘Aki’ Preserve, has been grazed and farmed for 150 years, but still has several good examples of native vegetation. All of the conservation easement lands are open to the public for passive recreation. This public accessibility allows the Conservancy the opportunity to expose the public to the beauty of natural landscapes and to constantly educate the public about the need to steward this land to guarantee its existence into the future.

Why do these lands merit conservation?
Both Herngt ‘Aki’ Preserve and San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary were scheduled for residential development, which would have completely destroyed the conservation values of these spaces. Without the Conservancy’s conservation work, these lands would have been lost as natural open spaces.

What challenges are there to the health and future of these lands?
Drought has seriously stressed the California oak trees in Herngt ‘Aki’ Preserve, and has at all sites facilitated the spread of non-native vegetation that can thrive in water-depleted areas, thus successfully challenging the native vegetation for the limited resource. Also, because the sites are adjacent to residential areas, they are vulnerable to unlawful uses including: motorized vehicle access, dumping, off-trail travel, use of drones, and use of firearms. While they are protected from any kind of development, they require continual monitoring  and stewarding to maintain a high-quality environment for both human life and wildlife. 

explore herngt ‘aki’ preserve!

explore san timoteo nature sanctuary!

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