Size: 288 acres
Location: Rio Arriba County
Eco-Region: Southern Rocky Mountains
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: December 2013
Trout Stalker Ranch is located along the Rio Chama, just south of the Village of Chama, and approximately 8 miles south of the Colorado border, along the scenic U.S 84/64 highway corridor. The property contains significant and unique natural resources, in part because it includes more than a mile of the Rio Chama and the Rio Chamita.
Because the ranch encompasses the convergence of several different natural communities (riparian woodlands, aquatic, wetland meadows, dry uplands) the ranch supports an unusual diversity of plants and animals. The riparian woodlands along the Rio Chama are especially suited for nesting birds. Wet meadow habitats are relatively rare in northern New Mexico and Trout Stalker Ranch contains approximately 68 acres of habitat for migrating birds, frogs and garter snakes, the savanna sparrow, Wilson snipe, western harvest mouse, and possibly the endangered meadow jumping mouse.
The landowner, Chama Troutstalkers LLC, is keeping the acequia-irrigated pastureland in production for grazing cattle and hay production. Chama Troutstalkers LLC has invested in extensive habitat restoration in the Rio Chama to improve the Trout fisheries as well as benefiting other wildlife. There is a public recreation access easement along this reach of the Rio Chama, included in the conservation easement.
With the donation of the conservation easement on this property, the landowners have made a significant contribution to protecting the historic character of the Rio Chama Valley as well as protecting and enhancing important wildlife habitat in northern New Mexico.