Located in an extremely remote area of the Owyhees, the 45 Ranch was owned by The Nature Conservancy for ten years. During this time we undertook extensive vegetation mapping, habitat restoration and ecological monitoring. However, it also required extensive time and resources to maintain the ranch facilities in this remote region.
In 2005, we began soliciting proposals from conservation buyers to partner with us to achieve ambitious conservation goals on the 240-acre ranch and its nearly 70,000 acres of public land grazing allotments.
We received many great conservation proposals, and using objective ranking criteria, we selected the proposal that we believe best fits our goals for this particular property. Conservationist Charles Conn is now the owner of the ranch. A BLM easement already in place will continue to guarantee road access through the property and access to the river for floaters.
The Conservancy will retain an additional easement to protect key parts of the property from development and incompatible uses.
Further, through a long-term cooperative agreement, the Conservancy and the new owners will partner on vegetation mapping, research, monitoring and habitat restoration work. The new owner has pledged significant support for our work there, and a new manager will be on the property to maintain the ranch, control weeds and work with Conservancy staff.
It is a great direction for the 45 Ranch, given that the public continues to have access, the Conservancy can reach its ecological goals and we have a new partner supporting those efforts. We continue to recognize the Owyhees as one of the most important ecological regions of the state, and we will continue to work with the local community to help fight invasive weeds, engage in the Owyhee Initiative and work to protect both the natural and human communities in this special place.