|The High Lonesome Ranch, Colorado/ |
Photo credit: Bruce Steiner
The High Lonesome Ranch (HLR), a conservation ranch that lies in west-central Colorado, on the West Slope of the Rocky Mountains, provides an example of why private land can be critical to ecosystem management. This ranch is the size of a national park. Its 300 square miles of deeded and permitted lands range from 5,500 to 9,000 feet in elevation, and contain abundant game species—which includes abundant cougars, bears, and wolves trickling in from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Indeed in Spring 2009, a radio-collared Yellowstone wolf made a 1000 kilometer dispersal and ended up near the Ranch boundary. Others have turned up on the Ranch, which is managed for sustainable mixed uses and for conservation of biodiversity utilizing trophic cascades principles. The HLR aims to advance the sustainability and economic resilience of mixed-use western landscapes, their biodiversity, and their human culture. And on this ranch, where I am the research director, we believe that conserving carnivores is foundational to ecosystem health.
|Wildlands Network/High Lonesome Ranch Private Landowners|