After placing a conservation easement on the land and purchasing the property, The Nature Conservancy has sold the 3 Bar X Ranch in Lander to a local agricultural producer. The now permanently protected property comprises 1,225 acres along the Lander Front and provides crucial yearlong habitat for deer, elk, and moose, as well as summer range for pronghorn. In addition to the wildlife values for big game animals, the ranch also hosts core breeding and nesting habitat for the Greater sage-grouse and several miles of streams that provide important wetland habitat for a variety of plants and animals.
Recently, the ranch and several adjacent properties along the Lander Front faced mounting development threats. The Conservancy moved quickly, through funding support from private donors to acquire the 3 Bar X from a long-time ranching family who was interested in protecting the property’s natural values and maintaining its ranching tradition. With support from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and other private funders, the Conservancy also worked with the original seller to place a conservation easement on the property to prevent future subdivision and uncontrolled development prior to selling the ranch to its new owner.
In Wyoming, Fremont County is first in hay production and second in cattle production. New owner Ted Seely plans to maintain the 3 Bar X as an agricultural operation.
The 3 Bar X connects to a network of other protected areas including more than 500,000 public acres, lands that provide crucial big-game migration corridors and a variety of recreational opportunities for local residents. There are also 14,000 acres of working ranchland already under conservation easement in the area.
“This is as much a win for the Lander community as it is for conservation,” says Andrea Erickson Quiroz, State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming. “We can continue to grow, but in a way that maintains the values of the places that help define who we are as a community.”
The Conservancy is now working to complete acquisition, protection and outsale of a second ranch in the area, the 2,354-acre Double A. Adjacent to the 3 Bar X, the Double A Ranch contains similar natural, agricultural and recreational values and would be protected under conservation easement limiting uncontrolled development and subdivision prior to its sale.
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.
The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming