Size: 225 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: December 2009
Werner Muller says that when he and his wife Helen first moved to the Las Vegas area in the summer of 1970 they had no idea that they would eventually spend their entire lives working, living and raising a family on what was at the time a “windblown, over grazed, piece of dry land southeast of Las Vegas.”
Over the years, the Mullers expanded their initial 100 acre purchase and gradually transformed the farm into a productive organic cattle and hay operation. The family has also been active in the agricultural community, working with New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, the San Miguel County 4-H Program, the San Miguel County Fair, the Storrie Water Project Users Association, Tierra y Montes Soil and Water Conservation District, the San Miguel County Extension Service, United World College, the Quivira Coalition, the New Mexico Organic Commodities Commission, and the Northern New Mexico Acequia Association. Through their collaborations with neighbors, government agencies and other groups, the Mullers have improved their land and prospered in the process.
The farm is located along the entrance road to the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, a stop-over area for a large number of migrating birds. Werner and Helen envision their farm as part of the buffer for the refuge as well as an eventual greenbelt around the perimeter of Las Vegas.
This vision is well on its way to becoming a reality. NMLC has now protected over 1,250 acres around the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge east of Las Vegas and is actively pursuing the protection of more land in this area.