Size: 1,015 acres
Location: San Miguel County
Eco-Region: Southern Shortgrass Prairie
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: November, 2004
Located in north-central New Mexico about two miles east of Last Vegas, NM, the 1,015 deeded-acre property consists almost entirely of open grassland, ecologically classified as Southern Shortgrass Prairie ─ a critical habitat for birds and other wildlife. In addition, there are several areas of open water onsite, including stock ponds and a marshy area that may be the result of seepage from the Storrie Project Irrigation Canal aqueduct that passes beneath the area. The property is near the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and now conserved, will provide important habitat for wildlife moving in and out of the refuge. The ranch provides tremendous views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.
Historically, the property has been used for livestock grazing. It is also the site of a decommissioned airway navigation (radio beacon) facility, which is slated for environmental cleanup/remediation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Upon completing the conservation easement, the landowners sold three lots totaling 538 acres, to new buyers who intend to breed and graze horses onsite. The Meltons will continue to graze livestock on the remaining 477 acres.