New Sublette conservation easement preserves ranching, wildlife
SUBLETTE COUNTY — The Green River Valley Program of the Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) is pleased to announce the completion of a significant conservation easement in the Green River Valley. The P\T Livestock Johnson Ranch easement spans 853 acres approximately 13 miles northwest of Marbleton and Big Piney.
This conservation easement represents a crucial step in preserving the region's natural and cultural heritage. Situated adjacent to Bureau of Land Management parcels on its northwest corner and eastern boundary, the Johnson Ranch easement establishes crucial connectivity to other large agricultural operations in the area. The lands encompass active cattle grazing and hay production, preserving the rich agricultural heritage that is deeply ingrained in the local community.
"We have continued forward to make improvements, repairs and protect the values of the land and water resources to keep this ranch protected and functioning as a working cattle ranch with an abundance of wildlife," said landowner Pete Thompson.
"This is a beautiful piece of property that we have been blessed to own. We are extremely grateful to join with the JHLT and funders to sustain and protect this ranch as it is and know that it will be kept whole and protected from development for the years to come."
Middle Piney Creek flows through the southern portions of the property for approximately 1.7 miles, and the easement protects approximately 160 acres of freshwater emergent and willow-shrub wetlands that serve as habitat for diverse wildlife populations. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has designated this section of Middle Piney as crucial habitat for moose and elk, including parturition habitat for moose.
The easement also contains significant portions of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's draft Wyoming Range Mule Deer migration corridor and stopover areas that migrating mule deer rely upon during their spring and fall movements. The landowner's commitment to limit subdivision and protect the property's working lands, agricultural heritage, open spaces and wildlife habitat ensures the continuity of ranching and agricultural practices while preserving the land's natural values.
"I'd like to express my gratitude to the Thompson family for the legacy they are creating through this conservation easement," said Green River Valley Program Director Kerry Gold.
"The protection of their working lands and wildlife habitats is as important today as it will be decades ahead as our region continues to experience changes both new and familiar."
By conserving the ranch, the landowner, the Jackson Hole Land Trust and its partners actively contribute to the maintenance of open space, water quality, wetland and riparian habitat, wildlife habitat, and the cherished agricultural heritage of the Green River Valley.
This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without the generosity and foresight of the landowner and funding partners including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund, Heart of the Rockies Initiative and Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, the Knobloch Family Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Wyoming Governor's Big Game License Coalition and the Joe Albracht Memorial Migration Fund.