Wildlife

Bald Eagle in Cottonwood
Bald Eagle in Cottonwood

Everything But Moose (and a few other things)

Our river valley is very healthy. A large number of species native to Colorado can be found on the property. We have a nesting pair of golden eagles living in the cliffs above our property. We have resident herds of mule deer, white tail deer and elk. We have Merganser and Mallard ducks nesting on the river. We have a flock of wild turkey that live in the brush along the river. We have a black bear that dens just upriver of ranch headquarters and raids our apple orchard every fall. We also have mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, fox, badger, beaver, and the occasional transient bald eagle. We are also on the migration trail for Mountain Bluebird who we rely on to tell us when spring is coming and when winter is near.

Elk Herd Near First Owl
Elk Herd Near First Owl

Wildlife Friendly Land Management

We manage our operation in such a way as to affect the local wildlife as little as possible. For example, we fence out the river bottom, where much of the local flora and fauna resides. We know the game trails that cross our property and provide wildlife friendly fencing at game crossings. We use wildlife friendly fencing in our paddocks to allow movement of wildlife into and out of our pastures. We do not overstock or overgraze our property, leaving plenty of forage for the local deer and elk. We control invasive plant species so that native species can thrive. In general, when we implement a new process, we go out of our way to work with nature instead of against it.

 

Gargoyle

Predator Problems? No Problem.

We are also a predator friendly ranch. We believe predators are a vital part of the ecosystem and we practice a live and let live policy. Bear, mountain lion, bobcat and coyote are commonly seen around the property and we generally don't have any problem with them. Occasionally we will get a sick or injured animal (we had a snake bit bear holed up near our pond a few years ago, for example) and in those cases we get the division of wildlife involved to help us decide on a proper course of action (we left the bear alone and she recovered).

Rare & Unique Species

We are fortunate to have unique habitat on our property. We use an integrated management plan to protect the rare wildlife that grows here. This includes fencing out certain areas. We also avoid placing water, fences or minerals in such a way that animals will trail through sensitive areas. Additionally, we carefully control invasive species in these areas. Finally, we work with the Colorado Natural Areas Program to do an annual survey of plant populations and come up with improvements and / or additional strategies to protect the rare species that inhabit our property.

Wild Turkeys Huntin' for Bugs
Wild Turkeys Huntin' for Bugs