Elk Ranch Tour: A WLA Stewardship in Action Event

Would you like to learn about management of the largest undeveloped parcel of land between New Mexico and Wyoming on the Colorado Front Range? Are you interested in how conservation easements, forest management, hunting, leasing for cattle grazing and guest services can work together to create a sustainable business and improve land health?

Join Us! We have a GREAT day planned…

Join fellow landowners and managers as we tour Elk Ranch and discuss a diversity of land management and ownership topics ranging from conservation easements to forest management, and cross-boundary issues with public neighbors to cattle drives, hunting and guest services. We will tour this rugged country in jeeps and ATVs, take a lunch break to enjoy homemade chili provided by Lasater Grasslands Beef and end the day socializing over drinks and hors-d’oeuvres back at the historic ranch house.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 ~ 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Your Hosts: Jim Johnson, Mark Johnson, Jim Hammond

A personal invitation from brothers Jim and Mark Johnson and cousin Jim Hammond, Elk Ranch owners and our hosts:

We welcome your visit and interest in the Elk Ranch, named so after 1919 when cattle prices collapsed and an enterprising Henry C. Rathke added elk to his cattle operation. Rathke, having founded the ranch in 1888, protected the valley from development. The Sierra Club noted in the Colorado Springs Gazette that the canyon system guarded by Rathke’s holdings are the largest undeveloped parcel between New Mexico and Wyoming on the Colorado Front Range, at about 132,000 acres consisting of private deeded land, BLM, USFS and State Land Board holdings.

Jim’s grandfather and grandmother Hammond homesteaded in 1929. The three of us inherited 880 acres of the original private holdings, which we have expanded to about 2,000 acres. To fund this and prevent future development, we have placed about half of the holding under a conservation easement with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT). Founded by our dear friend Dale Lasater (father to Alex and Tom who suggested that we join the Western Landowners Alliance), Mark is now a board member of CCALT and monitoring opportunities to place more of our holdings under conservation easement to fund additional acquisitions.

In addition to the conservation easements, we started a hunting business limited to 24-32 hunters a year hunting our deeded lands and about 20,000 of our leased acres. Additionally, about five years ago Mr. Anschutz purchased The Broadmoor Hotel and sought to mimic Mr. Penrose’s Boradmoor holdings by re-acquiring the Emeralf Valley Ranch, which is located near ours. We proposed cattle drives to The Broadmoor and have been doing day cattle drives now for several years. Of course, this necessitated the purchase of cattle, so we turned to our friends the Lasaters; we now buy our cattle from Alex and sell our grass fed, organic cattle to brother Tom Lasater, who in turn sells to Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods.

The ranch is a gift from our maternal family. Mark’s and my (Jim Johnson) paternal family were founders of United Van Lines and this connection prompted us to do outings in conjunction with conventions that United held at The Broadmoor Hotel, They were well received, which encouraged us to host CCALT’s annual dinner with 325 guests. Last year, we hosted our first wedding and now hope to create a business doing events and weddings. However, if you join us on this tour, you will well understand the challenges of the access to our valley; only 17 miles from the round-about at the Broadmoor yet an hour-long, beautiful but arduous drive.

We hope to continue developing profitable business ventures offering hunting, running cattle drives, raising cattle, and offering events.

We welcome your criticism of anything that we do. Really. Check out our website at www.elkglade.com. We are excited about your visit and pledge to make it a meaningful day of heritage, beauty and productive interchange!

Due to the highly rugged environment and the need to use ATVs and Jeeps for the tour, SPACE IS LIMITED.

Reserve your spot today and send any questions to hallie@westernlandowners.org.

WLA’s annual Stewardship in Action Tours provide an opportunity for knowledge-sharing, peer-to-peer networking and on-the-ground discussion about how western landowners can make their voices heard in the policy arena related to range, forest and riparian management. We hope you can join us!

 

Upcoming WLA Events

  • May 15: Webinar: Drought and Soil Health – Are you Resilient? Register Here.
  • May 24: WLA Stewardship in Action tour on the Flying Diamond Ranch, Colorado. RSVP: Hallie@westernlandowners.org
  • June 6: Webinar: The Right Tools for the Job: Putting Technology to Work on Your Ranch. Register Here.

 

The Western Landowners Alliance advances policies and practices that sustain working lands, connected landscapes and native species.

Not yet a member? We invite you to Join Us.