FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is the Antelope Valley Conservancy?
A: Antelope Valley Conservancy is a local land trust conservancy. It obtains and stewards lands that are important to the community for quality of life, scenic beauty, plant and animal habitat, connectivity for biodiversity, and watershed function. It is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation and meets IRC 170(h) qualifications.
Q: Can I donate my land?
A: Antelope Valley Conservancy accepts contribution of land and conservation easements for preservation, and holds IRS status to ensure any tax benefits to which the donor may be entitled. Donations of "trade lands" are also important, as these can be sold or traded in order to preserve lands with significant natural habitat, and these qualify as charitable contributions. The Conservancy is happy to offer naming rights for preserved lands that are funded for in-perpetuity preservation. The Conservancy is building Sustaining Endowments for donated land stewardship, but regrettably, we cannot accept all lands that we are offered.
Q: What is AVC doing to stop habitat destruction? Why doesn't AVC fight projects?
A: Antelope Valley Conservancy formed to provide a community service in the specific area of habitat acquisition, mitigation implementation, and stewardship. In addition to this workload, the Conservancy participates in regional conservation planning, encourages integrity in lead and trustee agencies' fulfillment of environmental regulations, promote citizen engagement in planning processes through its newsletters, Facebook page, and presentations, and AVC will occasionally weigh in during a project or planning review process. But the Conservancy's role is to focus on acquisition and stewardship, and contribute proactively to regional planning issues, not to be involved in individual project reviews.
Q: Where are AV Conservancy's lands?
A: AV Conservancy focuses on native habitats, and many of the land trusts' target preservations are in Los Angeles County-designated Significant Ecological Areas. The Conservancy focuses on the region's quickly diminishing Joshua Tree woodlands, the keystone species of the Mojave Desert, that support a wide variety of native species, along with a number of other habitats. Contrary to some assertions, the region's Joshua trees are not identical to the Joshua in Joshua National Park.
Antelope Valley Conservancy has garnered over $250,000 in acquisition and development grants to move forward preservation of Rift Zone wetlands on the northern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains. This unique area hosts wetlands, active wildlife corridor, and transitional habitat areas ("ecotones") where different habitat types converge. AVC also has valley floor preservations for a variety of vegetative communities. (See Preserves)
Q: Do you help with mitigation for development?
A. Yes, AV Conservancy runs a CDFG-Authorized Mitigation Program to provide affordable, ecologically-substantive mitigation opportunities to lead agencies and developers. (See Mitigation Program). When Antelope Valley Conservancy formed in 2005, mitigation was not being implemented in our region, largely because there was not a conservancy. When managed with integrity, mitigation programs offer a great opportunity for a region to preserve its precious habitat and watershed resources --- that is what mitigation was intended to do when it was enacted as law. The key being "biological integrity, fiscal accountability, and community transparency." AVC is proud of the program we have built, and the community's support.
Q: Where is the Antelope Valley?
A: The Antelope Valley is located in the high desert portion of the Mojave Desert of California, in northern Los Angeles County and southeastern Kern County. Although Antelope Valley Conservancy's services are not limited to a geographical boundary, as a local land trust we focus on the local community, which includes the watershed and adjacent towns which comprise an economic and ecological community of interest.
Q: Why is land conservation important?
A: Never before in the history of Mankind have we had to think about our impact on our environment, but we do now. The impact of seven billion people and unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels and natural resources is impacting basic systems on our planet, like our oceans and weather patterns, and agricultural economies, and the species that live on the planet, including humankind. Our living patterns, including the food we like to eat, are reliant on complex systems of water, pollinators, and predator food chains that we now find at risk. Most of the products we consume come from natural plant and animals sources. As our population builds across ever expanding reaches of previously natural habitat, the ecosystems that keep our air and water clean, and provide resources to sustain us, are being lost.
Q: What can I or my organization do to get involved with Antelope Valley Conservancy?
A: Identify and tell us about land that should be preserved. Tell your family, friends, and organizations about our work. Invite us to make a presentation to your group or school. Or volunteer to help us.
Include AV Conservancy in your will and estate planning, and make contributions to support land stewardship. Your contribution to the Sustaining Endowment is particularly important, as it allows us to accept lands that are donated to us.
Q: Where can I get more information about these topics?
Climate Change (State of California site)
Our Altered Oceans (Los Angeles Times video series)
You can also learn about the economics of everyday choices at The Story of Stuff (such as plastic water bottles ). Or reduce junk mail by opting out at Direct Mail Assocation and opting out of preapproved offers at the credit bureaus. Or reduce catalogue mail at Catalogue Choice; reduce phone directory delivery by phoning your telephone service provider. Or calculate your Greenhouse Gas Emissions (EPA site) and learn more about California's Climate Change Initiatives.
Make changes in your everyday, personal choices. Use reusable shopping bags and bottles instead of throwaway plastics. Find ways to use less water and fewer petroleum-based products. Buy local products and products with less packaging, to reduce transportation and packaging costs --- and make less trash and pollution. These are things our grandparents knew. How did we forget?