Flying Triangle Ranch conservation preserves habitat, ranch land

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, April 3, 2024-

Nearly 2,000 acres of ranchland in eastern Mesa County will be conserved thanks to a conservation partnership with the Nichols and Bevan families and Colorado West Land Trust.

The Land Trust announced the conservation of the Flying Triangle Ranch on Tuesday. The agreement will safeguard 1,960 acres of the Plateau Valley, near Collbran, preserving wildlife habitats and scenic landscapes. It also underscores the families’ commitment to sustainable agriculture and rural preservation, according to a release from Colorado West Land Trust.

“The fact that a lot of our neighbors have conserved their land as well makes it even more valuable to my family and ranches in the future,” landowner Ty Bevan said. “I think someday there will be big tracts of land that are prohibited from being developed. I don’t think we will really see the full impact in our lifetime, but future generations will be greatly appreciative.”

Within a 10-mile radius of the Flying Triangle Ranch, more than 11,000 acres of land are already conserved by the Land Trust, according to the release. Filling in gaps in protected areas to protect entire landscape systems is a goal of the Colorado West Land Trust’s Forty Forever: Seeding the Future campaign.

“We are deeply honored to partner with the Nichols and Bevan families and are inspired by their dedication to conservation,” Colorado West Land Trust Conservation Director Ilana Moir said. “Together, we are preserving not just land, but a way of life — a legacy that resonates with the spirit of the West.”

The Nichols and Bevan families’ have ties to this land that spans six generations back to the late 1800s in the Plateau Valley. Ty Bevan, alongside his wife Carrie and their three children, oversees the daily operations of a cattle ranch, managing seasonal grazing practices. Ty takes pride in nurturing the land and witnessing how his actions help the land flourish, according to the release.

This property includes important habitats, from mixed mountain shrublands and sagebrush shrublands to riparian corridors and perennial streams, providing critical forage, cover, and breeding grounds for a myriad of wildlife species, according to the release. Its fertile soils and irrigation water rights play an important role in sustaining local wildlife populations, while supporting the region’s agricultural economy.

“You really don’t own this land as much as you think you do, you just borrow it for a time and make the most while you have it, and then pass it on to our kids who will hopefully want to do the same thing,” Ty Bevan said.

The Colorado West Land Trust’s Forty Forever Campaign is a $1.8 million initiative to bolster the Land Trust’s capabilities to address needs and serve the community. According to the release, the campaign emphasizes the importance of conservation easements like Flying Triangle Ranch, protecting wildlife habitat, farm and ranchland, scenic spaces and access to outdoor recreation across western Colorado.

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