Frequently Asked Questions
Historic News – 23 Years In The Making!
Against the odds, Banning Ranch is FULLY FUNDED for permanent preservation!
Why is this land important?
Banning Ranch is/was the largest remaining privately owned coastal property between the Ventura County line and Mexico. It also is at the mouth of the Santa Ana River and is part of the ancestral lands of the Acjachemen and Tongva. Much of the property contains sensitive plant and animal species in need of protection.
How big is the property and how much is being conserved?
The entire property is 401 acres with 384 acres being protected.
How much does the property cost?
The land’s fair market value is $97M, which includes a discount for the projected costs related to the oil cleanup and remediation.
When will it close escrow?
Now that the funding is in place, it will likely close escrow this summer.
Who will own the land?
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) will own the land.
Who currently owns the land?
The land currently has two owners: AERA Energy LLC and Cherokee Investment Partners.
What happens to the remaining unconserved land?
The remaining 17 acres will be owned by West Newport Oil Co. where oil extraction will continue.
Why isn’t BRC taking ownership?
Because the oil remainder is being carved out of existing parcels, it requires a specific process called the Subdivision Map Act. Only government agencies can use this Act without an extensive and expensive process. Further, the Conservancy doesn’t have the experience, accreditation, budget or staff to manage a property that is this large and this complicated.
When will I be able to access the property?
At least two years from closing. The next phase will include full oil remediation, land & ecology surveys, and initial restoration work.
What will I be able to do on the property once it is open to the public?
This remains to be determined, but we anticipate: walking trails, interpretive panels, camping, and other low impact activities (bird watching, etc.). There will be public access, but a focus on ecological restoration/conservation.
How will the Banning Ranch Conservancy stay engaged on the property?
The Conservancy will remain a committed partner for the protection of Banning Ranch. BRC will continue to raise funds for restoration and engage the community, tribes, colleges, businesses, and more, to ensure all voices are heard in terms of what the future of Banning Ranch is.