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
The Fort Union Ranch conservation easements are part of a larger, 96,528-acre ranch that has been owned and worked by the same family for nearly 100 years. The larger part of the ranch is located directly north of Watrous in Mora County, NM. The majority of vegetation on the property consists of native grasslands with some localized areas of piñon pine, juniper and ponderosa pine. The ranch is a significant feature of the Front Range viewscape along I-25 approaching Las Vegas, providing grand-sweeping views of rolling grasslands and habitat for a range of wildlife including pronghorn, deer, elk and bear. The Historic Santa Fe Trail bisects portions of the property with the remains of old wagon ruts reminding us of the past trade and migration route. This three-phased donated conservation easement project, now completed, is the first step towards a long-term vision offering great potential for landscape scale conservation on a celebrated ranch. Fort Union is a symbol of how impactful private land conservation can be when working lands function well on both an ecological and social scale. We are excited about this partnership!