Johnson County Ranch Conserved by Wyoming Land Trust
According to a press release by the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust, it has helped to place a 2,423-acre ranch in Johnson County under four separate conservation easements.
All four easements were fully donated by the McPhee and Jacob families who each own sections of the Patchwork Ranch.
Members of the McPhee and Jacob Families said in the release:
"We are so pleased to have our ranch protected by a conservation easement. This land was homesteaded and ranched by Ellis Patch, and several other Patch relatives, more than 100 years ago. Their goal was to preserve the land as open space, providing habitat for the wildlife they loved, and providing an opportunity for their descendants to have a glimpse of this Centennial Wyoming ranch in its natural beauty in perpetuity. We are grateful to the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust for making this goal a reality."
The Patchwork Ranch is situated along the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains south of Buffalo, Wyoming, and is a cow-calf operation.
The Land Trust secured funding from the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, the Homer and Mildred Scott Foundation, the Tucker Foundation, and the Purdy Family Foundation.
It is a non-profit and with the addition of the Patchwork Ranch, now has a total of 295,361 protected acres across the state.
According to an annual report of its finances, for the 2021 fiscal year, it had $2,899,265 in total revenue and $1,987,251 in total expenses, mostly from stewardship and conservation programs.
Jessica Crowder, Executive Director of the Land Trust, said it's important for this kind of land to be preserved.
"Understanding that private lands to provide so much value to our state from economic value, keeping rural communities economically alive. They provide food and fiber to our state and country. They provide wildlife habitat. So the public benefit from keeping agriculture lands intact now and into the future is just immense. These particular lands in Johnson County that we've recently placed a conservation easement on add to those values and just really help us keep the character and the uniqueness of Wyoming that we all hold so dear."
Crowder that conservation like this is done to prevent the land from being used for housing development, even if that wasn't an issue for the Patchwork Ranch.
"I think what's interesting in Wyoming is that we have seen more people coming into Wyoming, more people interested in living in our great state. And so while the risk may not be imminent, there's always a risk in the future that someone may recognize the beauty that may exist in the future and like to build houses in an area or subdivide an area. So on any project we do, that risk could be there at some point in the future."