1,000 acres of Richie Ranch conserved through easement

SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust announced an additional 1,042 acres of the Richie Ranch Home Place near Boulder have been conserved through an agricultural conservation easement.

The Richie Ranch Home Place – operated by the Richie Family, who partnered on the easement – is a highly productive agricultural property consisting mostly of open hay meadows by dry ridges rising into the Wind River foothills beyond. The property is part of the larger Richie Ranch and has provided a living for the family for nearly 100 years.

The entire property is within greater sage-grouse area and a portion of the property is within the Sublette Mule Deer Migration Corridor, the longest known mule deer migration route in the world. Throughout the past year, migratory species such as sandhill cranes and long-billed curlew use the property on their transcontinental journeys.

Preserving the Richie Ranch Home Place contributes to the continuity of open space on the Wind River front. The conservation easement protects wildlife habitat, scenic vistas and opportunities for future agriculturalists.

“Throughout the generations our family has made a living from this ranch they worked so hard for,” Carole Richie said. “We believe in a conservative approach of maintaining and improving the resources the ranch provides. The hay meadows, pastures, water and abundance of wildlife are what make this ranch so special. This easement, along with the support of the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust, will help to maintain our family ranching goals.”

The Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the ConocoPhillips Spirit of Conservation Program through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation all funded the purchase of this conservation easement.

Wyoming Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Astrid Martinez said it’s always exciting to celebrate the closing of a conservation easement.

“It’s a privilege to know NRCS is assisting Wyoming families and our partners in making a lasting, positive difference to protect agricultural lands and lands that are crucial to Wyoming’s amazing wildlife,” she said.

Todd Hogrefe, regional office director at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, reiterated existing partnerships started in 2005 and have sustained conservation ever since.

“The Spirit of Conservation program has emphasized voluntary partnerships with ranchers like the Richie Family to conserve bird habitats while also providing important benefits to working lands and local communities,” he said.

The completion of this project brings all partners to a total of 288,746 statewide agricultural land, open spaces and wildlife habitats.