Local ranch family conserves more historic land

SUBLETTE COUNTY – Although this ranching family is well known throughout the county and beyond, mother and son want the news of their new conservation easement to focus on the landscape being preserved.

On Dec. 29, the Bar Bar E Ranch owners signed a new 736-acre conservation easement with the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Green River Valley Program. It is their second agreement, the first accomplished in 2007 to protect 873 agricultural acres of historic working lands and open space.

This creates perpetual stewardship of 1,609 total acres of the Wyoming Centennial Ranch – owned and operated by the same family in the same place for at least a century. The Bar Bar E Ranch was a founding member of the Upper Green River Cattle Association that moves its cattle up the historic Green River Drift to summer grazing on high mountain ranges.

“The new conservation easement ensures that the land will support continued agricultural use, including grazing and hay production, which in turn will help the culture and tradition of ranching continue to thrive in Sublette County,” said JHLT Director of Conservation Liz Long. “We are thrilled to partner once again with the family of Bar Bar E Ranch. It is incredible to see the result of careful stewardship on this now-historic homestead over three generations of living and working on the land. The Green River Valley Program of the JHLT is proud to play a role in ensuring the ranch will be a boon to the community and Wyoming wildlife for generations to come.”

The New Fork River and Willow Creek flow through the property, creating lush, resource-rich areas critical to sustaining resilient wildlife populations across the arid, sagebrush-dominated landscape.

The property’s diverse topography, vibrant riparian areas and wetlands and connectivity to vast swaths of adjacent open lands provide important resources for Wyoming’s native migratory big game species and is used by both pronghorn and moose on their seasonal migrations.

Bar Bar E Ranch II supports native raptors and waterfowl and lies entirely within the Daniel Sage-Grouse Core Area, with multiple active leks nearby. Protection of Bar Bar E Ranch II ensures continuity between the Wind River Mountains, Willow and New Fork lakes and the New Fork River.

Funding for the easement came from Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, Wyoming Game and Fish, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and an anonymous donor through The Conservation Fund. The landowners generously donated a portion of the easement’s value.

The Conservation Fund Wyoming director Dan Schlager said, “This effort will honor the agricultural traditions of Sublette County and protect its unique and vibrant wildlife resources, both essential components of Wyoming’s economy.”