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Project Details

Area:  NORTHEAST

Size:  3,239 (1st phase)

Location:  Quay and Harding Counties

Eco-Region: Southwest Tablelands and High Plains

Conservation Values:  Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat

Type of Project:  Donated Conservation Easement

Date Completed:  December 2020

Ute Lake Ranch

Located along the north shore of Ute Lake, a large reservoir on the Canadian River, Ute Lake Ranch has a long history of contributing to New Mexico’s livestock industry and is now owned by a new generation of ranchers.  Layne and Laurie Strebeck recently purchased the ranch from Layne’s father and operate it full time, managing a cattle operation on 6,500 deeded acres in conjunction with a significant state land lease spanning both Quay and Harding Counties. The Ute Lake Ranch conservation easements will be completed in multiple phases and NMLC completed the first phase, consisting of 3,239 acres, in December 2020.

Layne grew up in the area and knows both the land and water well.  Although at one time this land was considered as a potential location for a residential subdivision, the Strebecks chose to retain the ranch for grazing lands and maintain the connectivity of relatively unfragmented natural habitat spanning from Ute Lake to Conchas Lake along the Canadian River.  Conservation easements on the ranch will not only protect the land, but also the adjacent waters of Ute Lake, which boasts some of the best fishing and boating in New Mexico and is publicly accessible via Ute Lake State Park.  When asked why they chose to conserve their land, the Strebecks describe their strong commitment to passing on a legacy:

“The conservation easement gives us the opportunity to not only pass on land to our three boys someday, but to pass on a legacy. The legacy and responsibility of taking care of God’s land and God’s creatures on our family’s ranch. As a part of this program we can keep the ranch in the family and the family in the ranch – a true blessing. ―Layne and Laurie Strebeck

8/2021 SH
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