A 700-acre working ranch vital for wildlife at Henry’s Lake will be protected through a permanent conservation easement. The 2-Lazy-2 Ranch, owned by the Steinke family since the 1970s, lies north and west of Henry’s Lake along Highway 87.
The Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy worked closely to purchase a conservation easement on the 2-Lazy-2 Ranch from the Steinke family.
Conservation easements are permanent legal agreements that protect important habitat from development, while ensuring that traditional ownership and land uses like ranching continue.
The property protects two major wildlife migration routes in the Yellowstone area. The ranch is used by elk, moose, pronghorn and a wide variety of other wildlife species.
The easement acquisition was a project of the Henry’s Fork Legacy Project, a collaborative effort composed of local organizations and agencies dedicated to conserving working farms and ranches, wildlife habitat and the world-class recreational opportunities of the Upper Henry’s Fork.
The Henry’s Fork Legacy Project has focused on providing landowners with resources and financial incentives to conserve working farms and ranches and the rural lifestyles they sustain. The project also works to help people protect wildlife and restore important habitat.
“As more people call the Henry’s Fork area home, we need to protect the rural economy, wildlife, outdoor recreation—the reasons that people move here in the first place,” says Chet Work, executive director of the Teton Regional Land Trust. “The Henry’s Fork Legacy Project is working to ensure that this area meets development needs, while remaining a place where you can still catch a cutthroat, see a moose and ride a horse.”
The 2-Lazy-2 will remain a working ranch. Working ranches in the Henry’s Lake area are critical for migrating and wide-ranging wildlife like elk and grizzly bears. The property is also critical for the north-south movements of pronghorn and sage grouse. A creek which originates on the property provides spawning habitat for Yellowstone cutthroat trout from Henry’s Lake.
The conservation easement acquisition was funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, allocated by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.