Conservation easement preserves agriculture and sensitive wildlife habitat

Productive ranchland in Hot Springs County has been placed under conservation easement to protect the range and habitat for species of conservation need, such as the Sage-Grouse.

Read the full article here (The Prairie Star)


"Approximately 3,000 acres of productive ranchland in Hot Springs County have been preserved as the result of a conservation easement completed on June 30 by the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust. In partnership with the Wilson family, and with funding provided by the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, a conservation easement on the Swallow Place on the V Ranch ensures that the unit will remain in agricultural production in perpetuity.

Jim and Terry Wilson chose to prevent the subdivision and development of the property in the future and donated a significant portion of the appraised value. The Wilsons have been active participants in various conservation efforts along Kirby Creek and provide hunters with access through the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's "walk-in" program. The ranch serves as suitable habitat for many of Wyoming’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need and a majority of their ranch is designated as yearlong habitat for pronghorn and crucial winter-yearlong habitat for mule deer by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The property is within a Sage Grouse Core Area and the northern portion of the property is designated as Crucial Terrestrial Habitat in the Department’s Strategic Habitat Plan.

The decision to place the easement on their family property was a decision the Wilsons gave great thought to and the project was thoughtfully planned to further the family's estate planning as well as complement the many conservation efforts already completed and planned for the future. Following the closing, which was attended by Jim and Terry Wilson and daughter and granddaughter Billie Jo and Emme Norsworthy, Jim said “Completing an easement gives us a little more security for the land we have there. It joins an easement the neighbors have so it kinda ties a little more of the area in. It gives us some security for what the future is going to bring and saves that land – that was our intent, to keep it as is for future generations to come and we had three generations sitting at the signing because we wanted to have them involved and for them to see what that means. And their approval means a lot to us.”..."