The pronghorns’ 200-mile migration route is the longest land migration in the lower 48 states—and one of the most difficult. Not only must the animals traverse rough terrain, scaling heights and crossing water along their way, but they also must cross subdivisions, highways and private ranchland. Bottlenecks—areas where human development and natural changes in the terrain  squeeze the pronghorns’ route—make the journey even harder.

We’ve helped ease the path for the pronghorn by permanently protecting one of three major bottlenecks, a 3,409-acre swath of private land located on the Carney Ranch, from future development.

Our Role

Working with a dedicated group of partners, we helped the Carney family purchase a conservation easement for their property. The easement not only will ensure that the pronghorn’s migration path is protected, but also that the Carneys can continue ranching on their family land as they have since 1963.

The Conservation Fund purchased the easement using funding from the Acres for America program, a partnership established between Walmart Stores, Inc. and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Jonah Interagency Office (JIO), Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative, the Wyoming Wildlife & Natural Resources Trust and The Nature Conservancy, through a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, provided additional funding for the easement. The Carneys also made a significant donation to the project.

Why This Project Matters

Located amid some of the most ecologically important lands in the southern part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the easement links significant wildlife habitat between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and other privately protected areas while protecting the Carneys ranching livelihood. The land we helped protect features a variety of habitat including 25 glacial-pothole wetland ponds and more than two miles of frontage on the Green River. It provides ideal seasonal habitat for elk, moose, mule deer, greater sage grouse and trumpeter swan.

“Our family has watched the pressures of civilization impact this valley since 1963. The persistent effort of The Conservation Fund has helped our large extended family to realize my parents’ dream to preserve this beautiful place. We are grateful to be able to leave this ranch as part of our legacy for the future.”
—John Carney, President, Carney Ranch Company

Wildlife Migration

Wyoming Landscapes