© 2019 by Pathfinder Ranches

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P.O. Box 768

Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003

638,000 Acres Preserved in Perpetuity

Stewardship of the natural resources at Pathfinder Ranches is the primary focus of all management decisions, programs and initiatives. The management team of Pathfinder Ranches is dedicated to protecting and conserving the unique ecology, wildlife, and natural resources of sagebrush and riparian ecosystems on a landscape scale.

 

Open Space Preserved

The way to protect our open spaces is not to put them in needless opposition to development. The pressure for jobs isn’t going away. Here’s what we’re doing to reduce that pressure. Pathfinder Ranches maintains 638,000 acres in the middle of Wyoming as the world’s largest sage grouse habitat. That’s 30 times bigger than Manhattan. None of it is going to be developed. Companies that purchase Pathfinder mitigation credits are going to help pay the people of Wyoming to preserve this habitat. This exchange is known as mitigation banking. We’re going to nourish these open spaces for wildlife and the enjoyment of all the people of Wyoming—because we live here and love this state too.

Many Species Supported 

The sage grouse is the lead actor, but the supporting cast is equally marvelous.  Sage grouse need specific elements to survive in sagebrush country like leks and wet meadows—the same habitats occupied by hundreds of other species.  These “sagebrush-obligate” species at Pathfinder Ranches include ferruginous hawks, sage thrashers, mule deer, long-billed curlews and sage sparrows to name a few.  In fact, over 400 species rely on sagebrush country for their survival.  Promoting stewardship on Pathfinder Ranches benefits all the residents of the Great Sea of Sage.

Grazing for Habitat

Well-managed livestock grazing is a benefit to rangelands and sage-grouse habitat, and the custodianship that the ranching families at Pathfinder Ranches bring to the ecosystem is invaluable for conserving healthy landscapes. Through its four grazing associations, Pathfinder Ranches partners with seventeen local ranching families to manage the forage resources.  Grazing rotations are consistently analyzed throughout all pastures and allotments to monitor rangeland conditions.  Our ranchers practice time-controlled grazing to match grazing times and livestock numbers to the condition of the grassland resources, and rest-rotation to provide adequate rest periods for grasses and other plant communities, including endangered plants.

Our Conservation Projects

On August 9th and 10th, fifty-five people braved the heat and dust to attend the First Ever Pathfinder Volunteer Days at the Pathfinder Buzzard Ranch.  Volunteers included sportsmen and sportswomen, personnel from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and many people representing wildlife organizations, especially the Muley Fanatic Foundation (MFF), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,...

Whiskey Peak is one of the prominent landmarks in the northeastern Red Desert and the highest point in the Green Mountains.  The northwestern slopes of the Green Mountains drain into Willow Creek and eventually join the Sweetwater River.  Willow Creek meanders throughout the Whiskey Peak grazing allotment, which over the last century has experienced significant changes in livestock grazing types and timing of use, forage utili...

On March 22nd, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and collared 31 mule deer from the Sweetwater Mule Deer herd, starting with deer they captured near Devils Gate on the Pathfinder Dumbell Ranch.  This effort is aimed at understanding deer health and seasonal movements throughout the Sweetwater Rocks and Rattlesnake Hills area.

(Above) Mule Deer are captured and transported by a helicopter to a staging area. Photo by...

In August of 2017, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) completed lizard visual encounter surveys in five locations and setup one drift fence and funnel trap array on the Pathfinder Ranch. Two species of lizards were detected during four out of the five visual encounter surveys, and at the trap array location.  Northern Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus graciosus) were the most common species with 26 individuals observed ac...

In March of 1899, an German pioneer in Wyoming named Ole Frantzen filed an irrigation water right on the north slope of Green Mountain.  His goal was to irrigate 100 acres of native hay in the meadows surrounding Cooper Creek.  Mr. Frantzen built a mile-and-a-half long irrigation ditch, which eventually expanded to irrigate over 190 acres during his lifetime.  Fast forward over 100 years, and like many historic irrigation dive...

The 2017 Horse Creek stream restoration project at Pathfinder Ranches reconnected the historic channel flood plain, improved water quality, and eliminated two fish passage barriers within the stream.  A result of this project is improved access for trout movement upstream from Pathfinder Reservoir to the Highway 220 bridge. Specifically, a failed earthen dam located within the channel of Horse Creek was completely removed and...

In cooperation with the Rawlins Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Pathfinder Ranches helped build a 22-acre exclosure fence surrounding Sand Springs in Carbon County.  These multiple springs, producing water directly out of the sand dunes, are within the headwaters of Sand Creek that flows through the Buzzard and Sand Creek Ranches, both owned by Pathfinder Ranches.

(Above) Sand Springs is located within a sa...

Whitetop, or hoary cress, is an aggressive perennial forb that is tolerant of salty soils, like those found along the Sweetwater River.  This invasive plant is on the Wyoming State-listed Noxious Weed list.  Plants aggressively establish where extra water is available, like swales, irrigated fields without frequent cultivation, and in riparian areas.  Infestations rapidly establish dense stands and decrease rangeland health by...

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