The Coastal Corridor Alliance extends
its deepest gratitude to:
Frank and Joann Randall and their $50 million donation catalyzed the permanent preservation of Banning Ranch. This is the most important reason the land is protected and the Coastal Corridor Alliance exists today.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris for her diligence in securing $8 million in acquisition money via the state budget. This is a phenomenal amount of money for one elected official to bring to the table.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL), especially the contributions of Dave Sutton, Paolo Perrone, Guillermo Rodriguez, and Rico Mastrodonato, for their transaction expertise, skillset, and patience on this long, arduous conservation transaction. It took every bit of TPL’s decades of experience and wisdom to nail this deal down. We know that TPL worked much harder for this project than they ever expected.
The board and staff at the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) are the title holders of Randall Preserve. MRCA’s willingness to accept the title kept this deal alive at a critical juncture was a pivotal moment for this acquisition. Thanks especially to Joe Edmiston, Elena Eger, Mario Sandoval, and Jeff Maloney for the transaction work and now Brian Baldauf, Sofia Aleman and Julien Buenaventura.
The other funders of this real estate transaction including: California Natural Resources Agency, California Coastal Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Governing Board (all members past and present) of the Banning Ranch Conservancy. This dedicated group of “lifers” whose hard work needs no prodding or reasons given. They understand. They get it.
Steve Ray, former Executive Director of BRC, helped found the organization and was our leader from 2008 – 2020. He worked harder than anyone and the many decisions that he made brought us to the doorstep of the acquisition.
Melanie Schlotterbeck, our current leader, who came in at a critical point in the transaction and has the experience we need to move the organization forward.
Jan Vandersloot, MD, set the pace for all environmental activists in Newport Beach. He worked harder than anyone on any given project, and he was involved with more projects than anyone else. Jan maintained the absolute highest standard and integrity throughout, literally gave his life to these efforts, passing away while working on environmental projects at his computer one night in 2009.
Kevin Nelson was with us at the beginning and had an immense personal connection to the land at Randall Preserve, having grown up in Costa Mesa and having explored the mesa and wetlands as a kid. His passion knew no end, and his documentation of the wildlife at Randall Preserve, especially the vernal pool habitat, was pivotal in having these areas recognized. Kevin passed in 2020, but lived long enough to be present at the gala where Frank and Joann Randall pledged $50 million.
Cindy Black was a one-woman environmental group. She wasn’t out to win popularity contests, she was out to save nature. Everyone should appreciate how hard she worked. She threw countless hours into studying the oil field operation. So jealously did she guard the burrowing owls on Banning Ranch that she wouldn’t even share her photos with anyone at first (including the agencies) lest these owls be disturbed. Cindy passed in 2021.
The incredible coalition of activists, environmental groups, community groups, tribal groups and leaders, homeowner associations, businesses, civic groups, service organizations, clergy, elected officials, and determined individuals that worked together for many years to achieve this dream. This is a coalition that is deep and wide and whose passion and vision will be the key to our future success.
To the spouses, partners, and children that demonstrated patience and support through several decades, allowing the board members to devote the necessary time and energy to this worthy endeavor.