Photo: Land Trust.

Land Trust conserves more land at Aspen Valley Ranch

Jul 09, 2020 by Sarah Mowry
The Land Trust is pleased to announce that it has conserved an additional 160 acres of Aspen Valley Ranch near Post, Oregon.

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The Land Trust is pleased to announce that it has conserved and additional 160 acres of a large ranch near Post, Oregon. The Land Trust worked with rancher Jim Wood to create a land preservation agreement to permanently protect 3,748 acres of Aspen Valley Ranch in April 2020. In June, we added another 160 acres that will protect the ranch’s high quality wildlife habitat and agricultural land forever.

The new addition to Aspen Valley Ranch. Map: Deb Quinlan.
The new addition to Aspen Valley Ranch. Map: Deb Quinlan.

Aspen Valley Ranch is an 18,000-acre working cattle ranch near Post, OR. Its vast acreage stretches from the Ochoco Mountains, south across the Post-Paulina Valley and the Crooked River, up into the Maury Mountains. The land preservation agreement protects 3,908 acres of the larger 18,000-acre ranch.

The newly conserved 160-acre portion of the property borders other Aspen Valley Ranch lands on the north and east and Bureau of Land Management lands on the south and east. Before acquiring the 160 acres this year, Jim Wood and his family leased the property for grazing for nearly 50 years.  The land is largely agricultural with rolling hills, native grasslands, and juniper trees. Aspen Valley Ranch protects agricultural land, significant elk and mule deer winter range, pronghorn antelope habitat, and outstanding scenic views. This diversity of natural features, combined with the property’s connection to surrounding undeveloped lands means it is, and will continue to be, a critical refuge in the face of a changing climate.

Land preservation agreements allow a private landowner to own their land, but remove some of the development rights. Each agreement is unique, but typically does not provide public access. The Wood family will continue ranching their land and have agreed to allow the Land Trust to use the property for education and to carry out wildlife enhancement projects. The Land Trust and Wood family also plan to work together to conserve the rest of the 18,000 acre ranch.

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