Sun Ranch Land Management

Sun Ranch Land Management

Bjorklund, Anna
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Running along a nine-mile stretch of the Madison River, just below Quake Lake, the Sun Ranch spans just over 18,700 acres in a region known as the birthplace of wild trout management. The area continues to incubate resource management ideas.

This past summer, Sun Ranch’s owner, Roger Lang, announced a plan to more than double the number of its acres under conservation easement. Over 90% of the land is now protected through an easement held by The Nature Conservancy and a more recent agreement with the Trust for Public Land.

Lang views the conservation agreements as a sustainable, creative way for private and public sectors to work together to protect wildlife, ranching, and land resources. “This project will not only benefit the spectacular wildlife that inhabits the ranch but also the sporting public,” said Lang. “I fully intend to have regulated public access during the general hunting season every year.”

Sun Ranch is also known for its exploration of cattle-wolf coexistence. It uses alternative herding practices and maintains a constant human presence near the cattle to deter wolf attacks. The ranch now employs a full-time predator biologist, who will implement a predator management program with the hope of developing workable solutions for the greater community. Volunteers and guests from the ranch’s nearby Papoose Creek Lodge occasionally assist with the program while learning about land resource issues.

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