JACKSON (WNE) —A new conservation easement will add another piece to the puzzle of protecting big game migrations, open space and agricultural heritage along the edges of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The Green River Valley Program of the Jackson Hole Land Trust has secured a 280-acre conservation easement along Sublette County’s Jack Creek just northeast of Bondurant, the trust announced in a Thursday news release.
Surrounded by national forest, the ranch lies at the northern end of the 150-mile Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration corridor. In addition to mule deer, the property also supports pronghorn and elk migrations and provides crucial winter habitat for moose.
“Our family finds value in preserving part of the migration corridor for wildlife while allowing grazing for the domestic animals that are part of our ranching heritage,”
Jo Mack, rancher and wildlife artist, said in the news release.
The Mack family purchased the ranch in 1948. The conservation easement was inked Nov. 22.
“The Mack family has thoughtfully stewarded this property for over 70 years and this easement ensures the key conservation and agricultural values they have worked hard to preserve will be protected in perpetuity,” Land Trust President Max Ludington said in the release.
According to the Land Trust, the easement encompasses a mosaic of diverse habitat, including open grassland, riparian willow shrubland, wetland, sage-steppe and stands of mixed aspen and conifer forest.
Approximately 1.25 miles of Jack Creek run through the ranch, combining with several freshwater springs to create almost 60 acres of wetlands. Coupled with open pastureland, the riparian corridor provides prime habitat for a variety of native birds like great blue herons, neotropical migrant songbirds, sandhill cranes, waterfowl, and shorebirds.