Places We Protect

UX and 7-H Ranches/Ruby Valley


Franklin Lake in eastern NV
Franklin Lake Franklin Lake in eastern NV © Scott T. Smith

Franklin Lake is a popular destination for duck hunters, fishermen, and other recreational users.




Both the UX and 7-H Ranches contain critical wetlands in Ruby Valley, along the shores of Franklin Lake. The Nature Conservancy has worked with private, public and non-profit partners to preserve the bird habitat located here, as well as the ranches themselves.


  • UX Ranch: 3,584 acres
  • 7-H Ranch: 5,959 acres

Ruby Valley, along the shores of Franklin Lake

Avocets, stilts, white pelicans, trumpeter swans, white-faced ibis and numerous waterfowl

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The UX Ranch supports critical upland and wetland habitat on the shores of Franklin Lake in the Ruby Valley. Just south of the UX Ranch, the 7-H Ranch supports Franklin Lake's largest permanent wetland and is, like the UX Ranch, a critical nesting and staging area for avocets, stilts, white pelicans, trumpeter swans, white-faced ibis and numerous waterfowl species.

Local ranchers, American Farmland Trust, Nevada Department of Wildlife

What the Conservancy Has Done
Working with the American Farmland Trust, the Conservancy extended the equivalent of a four-year interest free loan to the McQueary family, who owned the UX Ranch, in return for a conservation easement. This loan helped the family avoid a bank foreclosure on the property. In this way, wildlife and a way of life were preserved.

After acquiring the 7-H Ranch, the Conservancy transferred the wetlands portion to the Nevada Department of Wildlife for permanent protection and the uplands portion to a conservation buyer, subject to a conservation easement. The result was the continuation of an important livestock operation and the preservation of one of Nevada's most critical wetland ecosystems. 

More about Conservation Easements
Conservation easements are an important tool. We've used conservation easements around the state to achieve our conservation goals at places like Bently Ranch — Kirman Field and Clear Creek in the Carson River watershed, the Jarbidge River in eastern Nevada, and Soldier Meadows in the Black Rock Desert.



Explore our work in this region