In 2018, a motivated conservationist purchased 422 acres just north of Gunnison that was adjacent to 108 acres she already owned. The newly-purchased land was previously platted for a 12-lot subdivision. Instead of developing the land for a potentially large profit, the buyer purchased the land specifically to remove the subdivision, make the land whole, and conserve all 572 combined acres permanently with COL. In doing so, she also conserved the rich natural beauty and habitat within.
McDermand Ranch consists of irrigated meadows, sagebrush, and over a mile of frontage along Ohio Creek. It is habitat for big game like elk, mule, deer, moose, black bear, and mountain lion, but also for several Colorado Species of Special Concern, including Gunnison sage-grouse (also listed as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act), bald eagle, ferruginous hawk, sandhill crane, and northern leopard frog. The property is leased to a neighbor for hay and grazing. Its protection links together two existing conserved properties and adds to the extensive network of conserved and public lands within the incredibly scenic Ohio Creek Valley.
Project partners include Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy and the Gunnison Valley Land Preservation Fund.