Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust Completes Conservation Easement Near Laramie That Conserves Sage Grouse and Other Fragile Wildlife
January 23, 2014
More than 8,700 acres of productive ranchland in Albany County have been preserved as a result of a recent conservation easement project completed by the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust.
The Kamp Cattle Company fully donated the conservation easement to conserve property on the north side of Laramie. The ranch provides habitat for many Wyoming species, including the greater sage grouse, boreal chorus frog, swift fox, bald eagle, burrowing owl and greater short-horned lizard, all of which are designated as “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. It is also in the migratory path of elk and mule deer moving from the nearby Medicine Bow National Forest, and is year-round habitat for pronghorn.
Kamp Cattle Company traces its origins to Wyoming’s historic King Ranch, which was homesteaded in the early 1900s. It has been in continuous agricultural production – including sheep and cattle grazing – since that time. The 8,783-acre easement was donated to the Land Trust by the property owner, Pete Kamp, to ensure the ranch’s compatibility with agriculture in the future and deter subdivision and commercial development. In recent years North Laramie has experienced a significant amount of development.
“I want to make sure it remains in cattle pasture,” said Kamp. “I don’t want the next owner cutting it up into house lots. Hopefully the next owner will keep cattle on it.”
The conservation easement provides an open, pastoral view along U.S. Highway 287 as it heads north from Laramie. The view extends from the highway beyond the Kamp Ranch into the Laramie Mountain Range.
“The importance of preserving Wyoming’s agricultural heritage cannot be overstated, especially as development moves into important ranching land,” said Conservation Director Matt Wells of the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust. “The Kamp family’s donation will ensure that there is a viable agricultural operation for future generations.
The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.