The Land Trust has finished a conservation project on Mill Creek east of Prineville that will permanently protect 492 acres of ranchland. We worked with Jim Bauersfeld, owner of Coffer Ranch, to create a land protection agreement that protects important wildlife habitat while continuing Bauersfeld's private ownership.
The conserved area includes one mile of Mill Creek, springs and wetlands, and unique rock formations. Coffer Ranch is home to a host of wildlife species including redband trout, rocky mountain elk, Columbia spotted frogs, golden eagles, mountain quail, and numerous songbirds.
Jim Bauersfeld has worked since the mid-1990's to restore the private land portions of Mill Creek. His restoration successes have inspired other nearby landowners to initiate their own stream restoration projects. Conserving one of the largest ranches on Mill Creek not only protects important wildlife habitat, but also secures the restoration investments Jim Bauersfeld and others have made in Mill Creek.
Coffer Ranch will remain a privately-owned working ranch, though the Land Trust will offer occasional educational tours. Funding for this conservation project comes from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the James H. Stanard Foundation.