Size: 2,203 acres (full ranch)
Location: San Miguel County
Eco-Region: Southern Rocky Mountains
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: In 3 phases, starting June 2010 and completed in October 2018.
Many longtime residents of the Santa Fe and Las Vegas area will be familiar with the famous Forked Lightning Ranch located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between the villages of Pecos and Rowe. Texas oilman Buddy Fogelson purchased the ranch in 1941 and ran a small cattle operation. In 1949 Mr. Fogelson married the actress Greer Garson, and the ranch house soon became a center for gracious entertaining.
After Mr. Fogelson’s death in 1987, Ms. Garson inherited the “old” portion of the Forked Lightning Ranch and subsequently donated a portion to the National Park Service to form part of the Pecos National Historical Park. In 2000, actress Jane Fonda purchased what was left of the original ranch after a series of subdivisions and sales over the years. Ms. Fonda worked diligently to conserve and improve the unique natural communities on the ranch until its sale in 2015 to new owners who are continuing to restore and preserve the important conservation values on the property.
In October 2018, NMLC successfully completed a new easement to extend protection over the entire Forked Lightning Ranch, adding 403 acres into the conservation easement for a total of 2,203 acres.
Forked Lightning is a conservationist’s dream – a haven for wildlife, with nearly 4 miles of the Pecos River running through it, and home to several historic sites on the property. This new easement combines two previous easements along with the new acreage and preserves the integrity of the property by removing the potential for selling off portions of the ranch in the future – a real win-win for land conservation. A special thanks to the landowners for protecting the remainder of this beautify property.