North Rim Of The Grand Canyon
Kane and Two Mile Ranch on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Photo courtesy Grand Canyon Trust
At A Glance
- This is the largest project, in terms of acres, in the Fund's history.
- Kane and Two Mile ranches connect three national monuments, two national recreation areas and eight wilderness areas.
- We brought together neighboring ranchers, public agencies and tribal officials to develop a management plan for the properties.
- The goal is to reduce grazing pressures on sensitive lands, restore critical wildlife habitat and maintain part of the land as a traditional cattle ranch.
The Grand Canyon is one of America’s favorite destinations—more than five million people visit each year to take in the breathtaking views of this iconic landscape. It’s also the location of the Fund’s biggest land conservation project—in terms of acres—in our history.
The land conservation successes along the North Rim are great examples of how saving land isn’t always about simply buying it and setting it aside: successful conservation often requires bringing multiple groups together to determine long-term preservation goals.
Kane And Two Mile Ranches
Although much of the land along the giant crevasse of the north rim of the Grand Canyon has been protected, huge parcels of land here are still vulnerable to subdivision, development and drought. That was the case with the privately owned Kane and Two Mile ranches, an expansive inholding that connected three national monuments, two national recreation areas and eight wilderness areas. The ranches spanned just over 1,200 acres and controlled grazing permits across nearly 900,000 acres of adjacent federal lands.
We knew that for conservation to last here, we needed not only to preserve the region’s wildlife habitat and striking scenery but its ranching heritage as well. So, we partnered with the Grand Canyon Trust to purchase the Kane and Two Mile ranches, both within view of Arizona’s famed Vermilion Cliffs. Together with the trust, we created North Rim Ranch LLC to own and run the ranches and hired a third-generation rancher to oversee the operation.
But there’s more: decades of grazing operations had taken their toll on the area’s most sensitive lands. We brought together neighboring ranchers, public agencies and tribal officials to develop a management plan for the property. The goal is to reduce grazing pressures on sensitive lands, restore critical wildlife habitat and maintain part of the land as a traditional cattle ranch. The groups also convened a science advisory council to assess the grazing allotments associated with the ranches, which will help land managers conserve and protect the fragile landscape.
Funding to support the effort was provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through its partnership with Walmart and the Acres for America program.