The easement protects more than 2,000 acres of a family-owned working ranch, known as the MJ Ranch, located southeast of Boulder. The easement protects sagebrush grassland habitat ideal for a variety of wildlife, including sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, burrowing owl, mountain plover, pygmy rabbit, sage sparrow and white-tailed prairie dog. The ranch also borders critical moose winter habitat along the East Fork River.

The Jonah Interagency Mitigation and Reclamation Office (JIO), established to mitigate impacts of oil and gas development on the nearby Jonah Field, along with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department identified the MJ Ranch as a top conservation priority.

In 2008, the Fund pioneered the use of JIO oil and gas mitigation funds for land conservation with the purchase of a conservation easement on more than 1,000 acres of a working ranch near Daniel known as the Cottonwood Ranches. This project was made possible by our partnership with the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust.