WhatThe Conservation Fund and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) worked together with a conservation-minded family and key partners to permanently protect 3,239 acres of working ranch lands and crucial wildlife habitat in the Upper Green River Valley in Wyoming. WhereThe property is located south of Jackson Hole along the Hoback Rim between the Gros Ventre and Wyoming ranges. WhoRocky Mountain Elk FoundationConservation Minded FamilyKey PartnersWhy It’s ImportantIt strengthens the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by linking thousands of acres of the Bridger-Teton National Forest with other previously conserved private ranches.
The resulting conservation easement is a strategic tool that the landowner utilized to help boost his operations, while also safeguarding habitat for sage grouse, elk and the largest concentration of Shiras Moose in the country as well as other wildlife species. More InfoThe Rolling Thunder Ranch represents a critical piece in The Conservation Fund’s longstanding work in Wyoming’s Upper Green River Valley.“This project strikes at the heart of our mission. Not only does it protect summer and winter range and calving areas for elk but it also includes migration routes for antelope and mule deer, important habitat for Canada lynx and yearlong range for sage grouse,” added Henning.
Key funding for the easement came from the USDA’s NRCS’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (now a part of the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program), in coordination with the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI). SGI is a partnership that aims to coordinate with ranchers to improve habitat for the at-risk bird while maintaining working landscapes. The project also received funding from the Wyss Foundation and vital support from Wyoming’s Congressional delegation.