The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, a conservation minded landowner, and Wyoming Game and Fish worked together to permanently protect 4,161 acres scattered across 19 parcels of land in a conservation easement.
Wyoming’s Red Creek Basin is almost all public land-including more than 56,000 acres of Bureau of Land Mangement and 8,300 acres of state land. There are 19 parcels of private land totaling 4,161 acres scattered across a 20-mile stretch spanning this picturesque basin. Collectively, they form the Red Creek Ranch. Flaming Gorge Reservoir lies just 10 miles west and the Red Creek Badlands Wilderness Study Area encompasses the northern third of the ranch
Why It’s Important
Roughly 1,000 elk roam the basin, along with pronghorn, moose and one of the state’s most highly prized herds for trophy mule deer. Three sage grouse leks lie near the ranch. Its namesake creek harbors increasingly rare genetically pure Colorado River cutthroat trout, found only in the Green and Colorado watersheds.
The entire ranch is now forever protected by a conservation easement, and the landowner Adam Lerrick will continue to manage the ranch for wildlife and cattle as he has since 1994.
Lerrick and Wyoming Game and Fish have been working to restore the ranch for more than two decades, and several years ago began working with The Nature Conservancy to protect the land under a conservation easement.
The easement guarantees this basin will remain both a working landscape and a jewel for wildlife, livestock, hunters and ranchers alike.