Size: 640 acres
Location: Santa Fe County
Eco-Region: Southern Rocky Mountains
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: December, 2011
The Ortiz Mountain Ranch conservation easement conserves 640 acres inside a larger conservation easement held by the Nature Conservancy along scenic Highway 14 in Santa Fe County, commonly known as the “Turquoise Trail”.
The conservation easement with NMLC will ensure that the entire 11,000-acre ranch is kept intact. It also places the ranch headquarters area under conservation, helping to keep the ranch in agricultural production. The property is located on the western slopes of the Ortiz Mountains just south of Madrid and is primarily composed of piñon-juniper forest with some areas of grassland.
The property was a part of the former Ball Ranch which was purchased by local businessman Steve Chavez in late 2010. Mr. Chavez approached NMLC to discuss conserving his remaining acreage at the end of 2011. Mr. Chavez says,
“As a member of the green-building and technologies community, I believe it’s important to conserve our natural resources. I wanted to ensure that the land and its environment were protected for future generations to come.”