Protecting Bow & Arrow Ranch

Bow & Arrow Ranch provides important habitat for animals like the burrowing owl.

In March 2016, The Nature Conservancy in Colorado purchased Bow & Arrow Ranch— a 34,420-acre  property located east of Walsenburg in southeast Colorado. By leveraging strategic conservation easements and then reselling the property to a private owner, we will protect the significant natural and agricultural values of this property.

Why This Property Matters

“Southeast Colorado’s grasslands represent a unique area where the western legacies of nature and ranching traditions meet,” said Matt Moorhead, Southeast Colorado Project Director with The Nature Conservancy. “Here we find one of the largest intact prairies, which supports an abundance of plant and animal species as well as the livelihoods of the local community.”

The Bow & Arrow Ranch and surrounding area provide habitat for important species including burrowing owl, curve-billed thrasher, swift fox and the plains leopard frog. The land is also an important passageway for species that move over large areas like pronghorn, elk, black bear, mountain lion and big-horn sheep.

What We Will Do

The Conservancy does not intend to own and manage the ranch for the long-term. Instead, we'll find a private buyer who will manage the property both for its natural significance and agricultural uses. A conservation easement on the property will limit future development at Bow & Arrow Ranch and help ensure that it remains protected in the future.

“A conservation easement on the property not only protects native species, but makes a ranching operation on the Bow & Arrow more economically viable,” Moorhead says. “The families who live and work in this area inherited a legacy of sound land management. We look forward to selling the land to someone who will continue that legacy into the future.”

Interested Buyers

The Conservancy is currently refining its process for selling the property and will be putting it on the market in the near future. If you would like more information about purchasing Bow & Arrow Ranch, contact Jackson Moller, the Conservancy’s land protection program specialist at 303.957.9156 or


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