Size: 9,871 acres
Location: Lincoln County
Eco-Region: Arizona-New Mexico Mountains, Chihuahua Desert
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Purchased Conservation Easement
Date Completed: July, 2008
Located in the plains of central New Mexico between Corona and Carrizozo, the 19,000-acre Ancho Cattle Company Ranch is one of the largest working ranches in Lincoln County. Due in no small part to solid land stewardship, and a series of sustainable ranching management practices – including a rotational grazing technique known as holistic resource management – the property is a noteworthy example of successful, large-scale ranching in an economy that has not always been kind to the agricultural community.
The ranch also buffers the Lincoln National Forest along the northern flank of the Jicarilla Mountains and provides significant habitat for a variety of wildlife, including pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk.
With a strong desire to keep their ranch in the family and prevent the land from being subdivided and developed like so many other large ranches in the region – the landowners made a carefully considered decision; they worked with the New Mexico Land Conservancy to secure a conservation easement for 9,871 acres of the ranch’s total acreage.
Through an innovative and collaborative partnership, the conservation easement will be co-held by the New Mexico Land Conservancy and the New Mexico Division of Forestry. In addition, partial funding for the creation of the easement was provided through the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department with approval by Governor Bill Richardson’s office.