Elk NetworkCollaborative Effort Conserves 1,200 Acres in Southern Wyoming

General | April 18, 2024

Below is a news release from the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust (Land Trust), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and Nicholas and Dorothy Jamison partnered together to conserve 1,200 acres of the Jamison’s Fish Hook Ranch near Riverside, Wyoming.

The Jamison family is devoted to ensuring their ranch remains intact, maintaining the integrity of the productive agricultural land and wildlife habitat amid development pressure in the valley. This desire ultimately drove the family to place a conservation easement on their property.

“It is always inspiring to see people who love the land be able to keep it in agriculture and habitat, and the Jamison family epitomizes the deep conservation ethic of Wyoming. Ten minutes with them is enough to absorb their deep commitment to community and conservation. This ranch is an absolute paradise for wildlife, and it will remain that way for generations to come. This project is a great example of multiple organizations working together to keep Wyoming wild. Congratulations to the Land Trust and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for making this a reality.” – Bob Budd, Executive Director, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust

Homesteaded in the late 1880s, the ranch has been used for livestock and hay production, with hunting, fishing and habitat management being added to the operation over the last 40 years.

This conservation easement protects exceptional wildlife values, providing seasonal range for pronghorn antelope and elk, crucial range for mule deer, and year-long habitat for moose, and lies within Greater Sage-grouse Core Area. The property lies in the heart of the Platte Valley Mule Deer Initiative Area and is adjacent to a key Mule Deer Migration Corridor, supplying a braided set of routes used annually by deer for passage to and from seasonal feeding grounds.

The North Platte River runs through the property and is a world class ‘Blue Ribbon’ trout fishery with over 4,000 catchable fish per mile, mainly brown and rainbow trout, making this stretch a popular fishing destination for public fishermen floating the river. The conservation easement protects the fishing, wildlife and agricultural values in perpetuity.

“The Fish Hook conservation easement will protect more than just outstanding river frontage along the North Platte, but also important habitat for golden and bald eagles, and other iconic wildlife. This project wouldn’t have happened without a committed landowner and a collaborative relationship between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust.” – Nicole Korfanta, Executive Director, Knobloch Family Foundation

“Conserving wildlife migration routes is critical in order to protect the movement patterns of elk and other big game species so they can continue to flourish. We salute and thank the Land Trust and the Jamison family for their conservation ethic and vision.” -Jenn Doherty, RMEF Director of Lands & Access

The conservation easement was funded in part by the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, the Knobloch Family Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The Land Trust appreciates its partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Jamison family and the many funding partners that helped get this project to completion. As the land trust ultimately holding this conservation easement, the Jamison’s Fish Hook Ranch brings the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust’s number of protected acres to 298,246 acres statewide. We are grateful for our trusted partners and landowners who make these projects possible!

(Photo credit: Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust)