The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust has partnered with the Richie family to permanently conserve 2,683 acres of the Richie Ranch Link and Muddy Places near Boulder, Wyoming, through an agricultural conservation easement.
This is in addition to the conservation easement completed with the Richie family earlier this year, a testament to the landowner’s commitment to protecting the agricultural legacy and conservation values of ranching in Sublette County.
The Richie Ranch Link and Muddy Places are part of the larger Richie Ranch located in the foothills of the Wind River Range. The ranch has supported a cow-calf operation since the early 20th century and the hay meadows have been under irrigation since the Overland Ditch was established in 1906. The property is located within greater sage-grouse core area, elk crucial range, moose crucial range and mule deer crucial range.
Notably, the ranch is almost entirely situated within the Sublette Mule Deer Migration corridor, the longest known mule deer migration route in the world. The portions of the ranch within the corridor are considered “stop over” areas, which are important sites for deer to rest and forage in their season-long trek. The protection of this working ranch is a win for the family, community and wildlife.
Commenting on the completion of the project, Bob Budd, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust director, said, “The WWNRT is pleased that we have been able to help another longtime, multi-generational Wyoming family maintain the agricultural heritage and wildlife habitats they have stewarded for more than a century. In these times where we are losing our ability to provide food, fiber, clean water and open space, this is another major milestone in that regard.”
Adding to WWNRT’s sentiments, acting State Conservationist Andi Neugebauer said, “NRCS thoroughly enjoys working with the Land Trust and Families on conservation easement projects, and we are happy to see yet another project go to closing!”
Land Trust Board Chairman Wayne Fahsholtz shared his thoughts on the project. “The role of the board of the Wyoming Stockgrowers Land Trust is to make sure that we fulfill our mission of helping families conserve agriculture lands while preserving open space, wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits. We are excited about this Richie family easement because it fulfills our mission. Congratulations to this Wyoming family.”
The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust appreciates its partnership with the Richie family, WWNRT, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Knobloch Family Foundation. The completion of this project brings the acres of protected agricultural land, open spaces and wildlife habitat to 292,829 statewide. This work would not be possible without the trusted landowners, partners and supporters.