In 1996, The Wildlands Conservancy purchased an historic ranch in Southern California depleted and desperately in need of rejuvenation. Restoring grandeur to the landscape of the historic San Emigdio Ranch, now Wind Wolves Preserve, has required a broad vision and multifaceted approach. When the property was acquired, Tule elk were extinct from the southern end of their native range. Today, Wind Wolves is home to more than 400 of these majestic creatures, one of the largest herds in California. As the elk herd reaches capacity, weekly attrition provides a natural food source for California condors, aiding the recovery of our state’s largest and most iconic birds.
Once the second largest privately held non-desert property in Southern California, Wind Wolves is now California’s largest nonprofit nature preserve, offering sanctuary to visitors from both near and far. Each spring, families flock to Wind Wolves for one of California’s premier wildflower displays, traveling by foot or bike along more than 15 miles of trails that traverse San Emigdio Canyon. Access to the preserve’s rugged southern terrain is aided by the San Emigdio Express, which shuttles guests to and from an 11-mile stretch of the historic El Camino Viejo, a 17th century route forged by pioneers and restored by The Wildlands Conservancy.
Ultimately, saving land means educating and instilling a love for nature in the next generation; this is why The Wildlands Conservancy is California’s nonprofit leader in providing free outdoor education programs to underserved children. Since 1998, more than 165,000 Kern County students have engaged in an enriching outdoor education at Wind Wolves Preserve. These programs, led by trained naturalists, offer a hands-on, curriculum-based learning opportunity. For many students, it is their first experience interacting with the natural world.
Together, we have accomplished a great deal in the last 20 years. We turn to the future with a renewed commitment to expand free public access, recreational opportunities including free camping, and educational and interpretive programs that invite everyone to behold the beauty around and within them.Your gift today will directly support The Wildlands Conservancy's Wind Wolves Preserve and our projects in Kern County. Thank you for your support!