Wyoming Rancher Preserves His Land

June 21, 2010

Rancher on a horse at Cottonwood Ranches

Cottonwood Ranches/Photo by Mark Gocke

Daniel, WY — Local rancher Freddie Botur, The Conservation Fund and the Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust announced today the protection of nearly 1,800 acres on Botur’s Cottonwood Ranches that preserves the family’s legacy of ranching and enhances habitat for a number of wildlife species.

The land is protected through a conservation easement, a legal, voluntary agreement a landowner makes to permanently restrict the type and amount of development that occurs on his or her property. The easement protects eight miles of Cottonwood Creek and crucial winter range for moose, mule deer and elk, as well as an important migration corridor for pronghorn antelope.

“Cottonwood Ranches has been proud to work with the Stock Growers Ag Land Trust and The Conservation Fund over the last three years,” said Freddie Botur. “Together we have put into conservation more than 4,000 acres of prime riparian habitat to aid in the mitigation of oil and gas impacts in Wyoming. With the conservation of those lands and the support from the Jonah Interagency Office, tens of thousands of acres of important upland rangeland have been effectively supported for the good of the land, the wildlife and the ranch. As a rancher I am also grateful for these efforts to balance the development of our resources with the preservation of the agricultural stewardship that is so important to our communities all across Wyoming.”

The Conservation Fund and the Stock Growers Ag Land Trust have been working with the Botur family for three years and have completed two other conservation easements on the Cottonwood Ranches. Together the three easements protect more than 4,600 acres. Funding for the purchase of the easement came from the Jonah Interagency Office, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust and the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game Licenses Coalition.

“Our team is proud to work with the Botur family, The Conservation Fund and the Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust on protecting a third portion of the Cottonwood Ranches in the Green River valley,” said John MacDonald of the Jonah Interagency Office. “Through this model collaboration, and with mitigation funding contributed by Encana and BP, we are protecting valuable wildlife habitat, preserving Wyoming’s strong ranching history and mitigating the impacts from nearby oil and gas development.”

“The easement on the Cottonwood Ranches ensures that the property will forever be used as a working ranch and combines with adjacent public and private protected land to create an 18-mile stretch of North and South Cottonwood creeks” said Luke Lynch, Wyoming state director for The Conservation Fund. “The Boturs are incredible stewards of the land and we are grateful to them – and all of our partners—for their continued commitment to conserving Wyoming’s natural heritage.”

“We commend the Botur family for their vision to protect and enhance Cottonwood Ranches for present and future generations,” said Leah Burgess, field representative for Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust. “The partnership between The Conservation Fund, Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust and the Jonah Interagency Office has now resulted in five properties and over 7,435 acres of agriculturally productive and ecologically diverse land conserved in the Upper Green River Valley.”


About The Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust

The Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust is dedicated to conserving Wyoming’s working family farms and ranches and the wide-open spaces, natural habitats, and western lifestyle they support. Founded by a vote of the general membership of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association in December 2000, we have conserved more than 114,000 acres of working ranchlands throughout the state of Wyoming. For more information visit www.wsgalt.org or contact us at 307.772.8751 or info@wsgalt.org.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.