South-central Colorado: near the town of Mosca in the San Luis Valley.
The ranch is not far from the Great Sand Dunes National Park, site of the tallest sand dunes in North America.
Why TNC Selected This Site
Because it provides landscape-scale conservation of a biologically significant area containing several rare animal and plant species—some found nowhere else in the world.
What TNC Has Done/Is Doing
In 1999, The Nature Conservancy made conservation history by acquiring this preserve, its largest in Colorado.
TNC manages the ranches for two reasons: to protect their significant natural values and to demonstrate how cattle and bison operations can co-exist with conservation efforts.
Staff at the Zapata Ranch focus on:
- Conducting naturalist workshops
- Scientific research
- Operating a cattle and bison ranch