Wetland at 7J Ranch
7J Ranch Wetland at 7J Ranch in Nevada © Leonard Warren/TNC

Places We Protect

7J Ranch

Nevada

The 7J Ranch is at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, a unique landscape of exceptional importance to nature and people in Nevada.

The Nature Conservancy has acquired the 900-acre 7J Ranch, located at the very headwaters of the Amargosa River. The water that originates at this spring gives life to the Amargosa River itself. Keeping the water at the 7J Ranch on the land helps ensure the viability of previously protected places in the Oasis Valley—like TNC’s Torrance Ranch and the Beatty Narrows—and the entire Amargosa River system downstream. Thank you to all of our supporters who made this acquisition possible. 

The 7J’s springs and naturally irrigated meadows are full of life, harboring populations of native fish, amphibians, and spring snails found nowhere else in the world. This ranch’s unique geography—at the edge of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert ecoregions, its importance as habitat for rare and endemic species, and its strategic value for facilitating climate change adaptation for wildlife makes it an internationally important site for conservation of biodiversity.

7J Ranch is a gathering place, a linkage between land and water that sustains the ecology of a vast region far beyond the view of the preserve itself. Coyote, bobcat, kit fox, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and mountain lions roam the surrounding vast mountain landscapes, and some frequent this secluded property as a watering hole. Resident birds fill the air with their songs. Waterfowl and migratory birds gather here on their journey along the Pacific Flyway. The National Audubon Society recognized the Oasis Valley as an Important Bird Area because it is one of the rare routes through the Mojave Desert that guarantees water. The Amargosa River is one of only two such corridors for birds migrating into the Great Basin or other northern locations. Without it, migration patterns would be interrupted, which would significantly impact bird populations.

A Future for Nature and People

The 7J Ranch will be TNC's flagship property in Southern Nevada. TNC is partnering with local ranchers to develop a grazing plan and exploring avenues for using the property to contribute to the local economy in Nevada's Oasis Valley. In addition to restoring and conserving wildlife habitat, TNC's vision is for this property to become a center of excellence for science, education, and getting youth into the outdoors, while supporting Nevada's rural way of life. This page will be updated with details once the preserve is ready for visitors. 

The 7J Ranch secures a legacy of protecting important places on the Amargosa River

The Amargosa River is one of the world’s longest underground rivers. Though it flows through Nevada and California largely unseen, where it sporadically surfaces, it has created ecologically rich oases strung like pearls on a necklace. The unique conditions at each of these sites contain species and natural communities that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet. Each spring is an ecological gem; but if the springs of the Oasis Valley are each gems, the 7J Ranch is clearly the crown jewel.

The Nature Conservancy has been working to protect these unique and irreplaceable springs since 1983 when we purchased roughly 13,000 acres that now forms the heart of Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Prior to TNC’s acquisition, the area was slated to be a master-planned development.

Our work has continued in the more than three decades since, including protecting two key ranches—Torrance Ranch and Parker Ranch—and other riparian parcels. On the lower river, TNC purchased and protected over 4,000 acres in a perennially flowing, 26-mile reach of the river now federally designated as a “Wild and Scenic River.” Over the course of many years, TNC has sponsored and supported successful community-based conservation efforts and fostered close, productive relationships with ranching partners, conservationists, and federal and state agencies throughout the region.

Support Our Work

The Nature Conservancy is working to restore habitat and expand educational opportunities at 7J Ranch.