Conservation Buyer Program

Property Listing

JE Canyon Ranch

Colorado, Las Animas County

Size: 48,817 acres
Price: Please inquire

The property is or will be encumbered by a conservation easement as described below.

The JE Canyon Ranch is a 48,817-acre working cattle ranch located approximately 45 miles northeast of Trinidad in southeast Colorado’s majestic prairie canyonlands. Steeped in the history of the Old West and flush with some of the region's most diverse and abundant wildlife, the property currently serves as a pilot and test site for The Nature Conservancy's innovative conservation and property management strategies intended to maintain and enhance the ecological and economic value of this already remarkable property, as well as natural lands and local communities across the west. Positioned to become a leading example of world-class rangeland management, with resulting social, economic and environmental resilience, The Nature Conservancy seeks a buyer committed to conservation and continuing JE Canyon’s role as a pilot project in partnership with the Conservancy through at least April 2021.




The property is within the Prairie Canyonlands Conservation Area, which includes the largest and most intact area of native prairie in the Central Shortgrass Prairie Ecoregion. The JE Canyon Ranch is at the heart of a growing core area of protected lands, and The Nature Conservancy's proposed ongoing land management, sustainable grazing, and innovative educational and outreach activities on the property intend to influence broader conservation outcomes in the region and further enhance the value of this already remarkable property.


More than 55 miles of sandstone canyons carve the ranch, including the 700-foot deep main canyon of the Purgatoire River. Nine miles of the river flow along the red rock cliffs on the property's west side, mirrored by six miles of Chacuaco Creek along the eastern boundary. The ranch's uplands include native shortgrass prairie habitat. Pinyon-juniper woodlands occupy canyon rims, and north-facing slopes shelter remnants of ancient stands of aspen and ponderosa pine. Numerous springs and pools provide oases for both aquatic and terrestrial species in this arid land. The ranch has varied and notable wildlife including elk, mule deer, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion, turkey, beaver, and Colorado's largest and healthiest population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. More than 850 flora and fauna species have been documented on the property by the Conservancy, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Denver Botanic Gardens. JE Canyon Ranch is itself home to more than 25% of the 70 reptile and amphibian species known in Colorado, including three species of conservation concern: Checkered whiptail lizard, Texas horned lizard, and Plains leopard frog.


The Nature Conservancy will convey a conservation easement to the Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust over the entire property prior to sale. Key terms of the easement will include the prohibition of conversion to crop agriculture, restricting the construction of buildings outside of approved building envelopes, and limiting subdivision. Cattle grazing, hunting and outfitting, and other recreational activities will be permitted in accordance with the terms of the conservation easement and management plan.


Additional Photos

JE Canyon Ranch Photos. © Various. All rights reserved.


JE Canyon Ranch Map (11 X 17). Map of property with roads and ranch headquarter locations.


For more information, please contact:

Galen Guerrero-Murphy
2424 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
(720) 974-7004

Learn about The Nature Conservancy's work in Colorado.



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