A new 27,340 acre conservation easement spans
two one-hundred year old ranches
Media Contact: Maggie Hanna, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720.557.8266
March 2, 2023
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) is proud to have partnered with Walter (Monk) and Lynda Hall and Gary and Havilah Hall to conserve the UE and the Iron Springs Ranches of Delhi, Colorado under the Delhi Ranch Conservation Easement. The Hall Family, guided by Monk’s grandparents, Charles and Laura Hall, arrived in Delhi in 1916 and never looked back. Charles and Laura who arrived as homesteaders were followed by Lloyd and Edith Hall, Walter and Lynda Hall, Gary and Havilah Hall, with the fifth generation of the ranch represented in Gary and Havilah’s children.
“When we first considered the conservation easement my motivation was to give us a chance to keep the ranch that has been in our family for over 100 years for another 100 years. But now that it is a reality, I am so excited to know that the land our family has loved for over a century will never be subdivided as so many of the beautiful Colorado ranches have been,” Monk Hall shared.
The Delhi Ranch Conservation Easement consists of approximately 27,340-acres of land and spans two separate ranches: UE Ranch and the Iron Springs Ranch. Within 25 miles of the Property there are 15 existing conservation easements, that protect approximately 303,000 acres of private lands. This immense conservation effort is supplemented by large tracts of land owned and operated by Federal and State entities. The Delhi Ranch is set within the expansive native shortgrass prairie of the Great Plains, with canyons and bluffs throughout. The Ranches grant travelers of US Highway 350 with unobstructed views of Timpas Creek, the open prairie, canyon systems, and bluffs for nearly 15 miles. The undeveloped nature of the Property also provides the public with an opportunity to experience portions of the historic Santa Fe Trail which bisects the Property.
“Prime working agricultural lands in Southeastern Colorado are home to vital native prairie grasslands. The area is also increasingly at risk from developmental pressures,” said Clint Evans, NRCS State Conservationist in Colorado. “Native grasslands are critical because once land has been cultivated, the full diversity of its habitats is difficult to re-establish. Many species of statewide importance depend on native grasslands for their survival. Colorado has lost nearly 50% of its native prairie grasslands, so conserving the Delhi Ranch through our Agricultural Conservation Easement Program is a perfect fit.”
The Halls operate a significant cattle operation, grazing on the now conserved lands of UE and Iron Springs Ranches, as well as state, and federal land leases. In addition to cattle, the Ranches support a horse breeding and training program, online premium beef sales (UE LEGACY BEEF LLC.), and a notable hunting operation. The Family has worked diligently to improve water distribution throughout the ranch. The livestock water system includes 10 active wells, 39 stock tanks, more than 28 miles of buried water line, and at least 47 stock ponds. Increasing the availability of water across the Ranches allows the operation to utilize more of the available grazing ground, adjust grazing intensity, and improve the access and quality of forage for the Property’s abundant wildlife. On the Great Plains, water distribution ensures the resilience of the land, livestock, wildlife, and the operation at large.
“The Delhi Ranch Conservation Easement is an achievement partners should be incredibly proud of,” said GOCO Executive Director Jackie Miller. “Protecting endangered shortgrass prairie, wildlife, and scenic viewsheds, preserving agricultural heritage, and building of off numerous conservation efforts in the area from years past – this effort will benefit Colorado long into the future. GOCO is honored to have supported this important work.”
“It has been an incredible honor to work with the Hall Family to protect such a historic and intact piece of Colorado,” shared Maggie Hanna, Director of External Relations for CCALT. “There aren’t many opportunities to work on this scale, with a family that has ranched together for more than 100 years, in a region that is deeply committed to the future of ranching.”
JJ Autry, the Southeast Colorado Project Director at The Nature Conservancy and longtime friend shared “the Hall family’s sustainable stewardship practices of the 27,340 acres that make up the UE and Iron Springs Ranches has been crucial to biodiversity. It is an absolute honor to work with the Hall family, CCALT, and other important partners to help protect another piece in this critical intact landscape.”
Funding for this conservation easement was provided by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Great Outdoors Colorado, and the Gates Family Foundation. Transaction cost assistance was provided by The Nature Conservancy and Great Outdoors Colorado.
About the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) is a nonprofit land conservation
organization whose mission is to “…conserve Colorado’s western heritage and working landscapes for the benefit of future generations.”
About the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical and financial assistance to help agricultural producers and others care for the land. The Agency prioritizes conservation planning and uses conservation programs in the Farm Bill to implement most of its efforts including the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program which is designed to protect the agricultural viability, grazing uses and related conservation values of prime agricultural land by limiting nonagricultural uses of that land.
About Great Outdoors Colorado
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers, and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 5,400 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. Visit GOCO.org for more information.
About Gates Family Foundation
The Gates Family Foundation works with partners and communities to build a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable Colorado for all.
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded at its grassroots in the United States in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of a diverse staff and more than 400 scientists, The Nature Conservancy impacts conservation in 79 countries and territories across six continents.