mill creek ranch
1,208 acres, gunnison county
The Mill Creek Ranch lies in the upper portion of the Ohio Creek Valley where Mill Creek joins Ohio Creek. It is also located just outside of the West Elk Wilderness. The property is primarily open ranchland and is an important part of the productive agricultural land still remaining in the Ohio Creek Valley. The property contains upland sagebrush habitat and a diversity of natural montane grasslands, which provide important natural resources for a variety of wildlife species, including migratory and resident birds and a variety of mammals. The open space and expansive wilderness vistas provided by the property contribute significantly to the scenic beauty of the drive from Gunnison to Ohio Creek Pass and Kebler Pass.
The ranch is managed by the owner as a cow/calf operation and provides habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse, elk, mule deer, bald eagle, ferruginous hawk, American peregrine falcon, southwestern willow flycatcher and northern leopard frog. Water rights are tied to the property and the mineral rights are extinguished by the easement. This project was a great example of public and private partnership, completed collaboratively with the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, and with funding partners Natural Resource Conservation Service, Great Outdoors Colorado, and the Gunnison Valley Land Preservation Fund.