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Bently-Kirman Field

Bringing together ranching, recreation, and conservation

Our work at Bently-Kirman Field demonstrates that conservation can benefit both people and nature.




Open to the Public

Yes

Things To Do

Hiking, trail running, picnicking, wildlife viewing, nature photography and more. View All

Plan Your Visit

Bently – Kirman Field is open to the public from dawn to dusk daily year around. View All

Get Directions

The late Northern Nevada businessman and rancher Don Bently "never bought into the stereotype that agricultural and environmental interests have to be played off against each other” so it was no surprise that the Bently Ranch teamed up with the Nature Conservancy at the Bently-Kirman Field to demonstrate that cattle ranching, habitat protection and public access can be compatible activities.

The partnership at Bently-Kirman Field began in 2005, when the Conservancy acquired a conservation easement thanks to the generosity of the Bently family and funding from the Nevada Division of State Lands Q1 Program and the Nevada Department of Wildlife.  The conservation easement:

  • Protects 4 miles of the Carson River
  • Conserves important riparian and wetland habitat
  • Safeguards over 1,000 acres of floodplain from real estate development
  • Encourages sustainable agricultural practices

All easements are unique, but in keeping with the shared vision of Don Bently and the Conservancy to demonstrate that conservation can benefit both people and nature, the terms of this easement also allow for passive recreation and public access trails

Excellent wildlife resources

Conservation of freshwater ecosystems such as the Carson River is a top priority for the Conservancy.  At Bently-Kirman Field, the Carson River winds its way in braided channels, supporting extensive willow thickets and wetlands that sustain many animals and migratory birds.  The ranch lies within the Lahontan Audubon Society’s Carson Valley Important Bird Area and a recent survey conducted at the site by the Great Basin Bird Observatory found 33 avian species including Willow Flycatchers which are extremely rare in this region of Nevada.  

Sustainable agriculture

Classic western ranching landscapes not only preserve an important part of our cultural heritage, they also provide natural benefits including habitat for plants, birds and wildlife; floodplains to capture and slow down of flood waters; water purification; and groundwater recharge.  A strong agricultural economy along the Carson River is essential in order to maintain the vast acreage of ranchland that provide these many benefits.

Bently Ranch, now led by President Christopher Bently and General Manager Matt McKinney, has long employed advanced technology and sustainable agricultural practices to ensure that daily ranch operations are compatible with their long term environmental and economic goals.  

A unique trail system

At Bently-Kirman Field, Matt McKinney and Conservancy staff worked with local Eagle Scouts and volunteers from the Carson Valley Trails Association  to carefully construct nearly 4 miles of natural surface trail that provide the public with unprecedented access through private property to the Carson River and to the amazing panoramic views that the ranch has to offer while maintaining large undisturbed tracts of critical wildlife habitat in a traditional working landscape. Download a Bently-Kirman Field trails map.

“The trail’s route mimics the natural sinuosity of the nearby river, meandering peacefully around wetlands, willow stands and wild rose thickets, before emerging at four sandbar beaches,” says Duane Petite, Carson River Project Director for The Nature Conservancy.

Bently-Kirman Field -
conservation that benefits both people and nature.

Click here for the Bently – Kirman Field trails map.

Bently – Kirman Field is open to the public from dawn to dusk daily year around.

Hiking, trail running, picnicking, wildlife viewing, nature photography and more.

Please No:

  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Bikes
  • Motor vehicles
  • Camping
  • Hunting or discharging of firearms
  • Dumping of waste
  • Removal of plants

Bently – Kirman Field is open to the public from dawn to dusk daily year around.  There are no facilities at the site so please bring your own water and pack out your trash.  Dogs are not allowed in order to protect ground nesting birds and livestock on the open range.

Directions

Bently – Kirman Field is located in the Carson Valley approximately mid-way between Minden and Carson City.

From Carson City, drive south on US 395 to Stephanie Lane.  Go east on Stephanie Lane for 1 mile to Heybourne Road.  Go north on Heybourne Road for .5 mile to the trailhead parking access driveway.  Go west on the trailhead access driveway .1 mile to the trailhead parking area.

 

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

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