We were excited to see this recent article in Steamboat Today about how our recent efforts at Sarvis Creek will benefit the Yampa River watershed as a whole.
"The U.S. Forest Service has the privilege of managing public lands for multi-use, and a key indicator as to the overall condition of those lands is the health of the watersheds on National Forest. Watershed health has many public benefits, including importance for drinking water, agriculture and recreation, to name a few.
Management of public land and their associated watersheds is complex to begin with and can be made even more so when privately-owned inholdings within forest boundaries add another layer of complexity.
The USFS thinks that contiguous land ownership lends itself to consistent management, and so the agency’s lands program works to consolidate blocks of public lands whenever opportunities arise. Management becomes less complicated when land ownership is not fragmented, and thus implementing on-the-ground projects — which benefit overall watershed health — is easier and more efficient."
The Associated Press picked up the recent story about our work on the John Day River at Thirtymile Creek. This is an exciting project on what is truly one of the great rivers of the West.
"A conservation group has bought a second large ranch along the John Day River in Central Oregon that could eventually provide public access to a remote, scenic part of the state.
The Western Rivers Conservancy bought the Murtha Ranch at Cottonwood Canyon in 2008 and then sold it to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for what’s now the second-largest state park, at 8,000 acres.
The organization recently bought a ranch 40 miles upstream, at Thirtymile Creek in Gilliam County, near Condon."
Terry Richard at The Oregonian wrote a great story about our continued work on the John Day River—and its value for fish, wildlife and anglers, hunters, hikers and other recreationists.
"Western Rivers Conservancy has done it again.
The Portland-based land conservancy, which made Oregon's Cottonwood Canyon State Park possible, has bought another large ranch on the John Day River of east-central Oregon.
Western Rivers recently completed purchase of the Rattray Ranch on Thirtymile Creek in Gilliam County near Condon. The ranch had been owned for three generations by the same family that homesteaded in the 1880s, passing it down to the six sisters who sold it."
This month, Western Rivers Conservancy completed its second land acquisition on Washington’s Big Sheep Creek, placing 1,440 more acres surrounding this critical stream on the path toward conservation. Now that we own all 2,440 acres of the Bennett Meadows Tract, we can focus on transferring this incredible assemblage of riverland, meadowland, wetlands and conifer forest into the long-term care of a conservation steward.
"Western Rivers Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have now completed conservation of a historic property at the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek.
The project conserves outstanding fish and wildlife habitat and opens new public access to a prime stretch of trophy trout water and elk hunting grounds only 13 miles from Steamboat Springs.
The property, which WRC calls Hubbard’s Summer Place, lies three miles downstream from Stagecoach Reservoir on the banks of a classic tailwater fishery. According to local anglers, this stretch of the Yampa River is coveted for its large rainbow and brown trout and native mountain whitefish. Until now, Hubbard’s Summer Place was closed to the public."