Antelope Valley ranch donates easement |

Antelope Valley ranch donates easement

Staff Reports
A sage grouse.
Joe Kiesecker | Nature Conservancy

An agreement between a Disney executive and the Nature Conservancy has resulted in the protection of more than 3,800 acres along the West Walker River in southern Douglas County.

According to the Nature Conservancy, the agreement establishes a conservation easement on the Fairfield Ranch along three miles of West Walker riverbank

The ranch is owned by Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan and wife Cindy Horn in southern Douglas County. The property is south of the Sleeping Elephant Ranch across Highway 208 from Topaz Ranch Estates.

“Ranch owners and long-time environmentalists, Alan and Cindy Horn, donated the conservation easement along with a stewardship endowment to The Nature Conservancy,” said Duane Petite, from the Conservancy’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Program. “Patience, perseverance and the generosity of the ranch owners made this shared dream a reality.”

The conservation easement will help protect important habitat for sage grouse. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed listing the Bi-state population (Nevada and California) of sage grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

“This easement demonstrates that important conservation measures are being implemented to ensure the health of sage-grouse in Nevada,” Ted Koch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Nevada state supervisor,

“Fairfield Ranch has important wet meadows that are one of the most critical habitats to sage grouse in this arid environment,” says Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley, “This easement has significant conservation value and is important to the long-term viability of sage grouse in the bi-state area.”

“Protecting sage grouse habitat is a priority in Nevada,” adds Matthew Tuma, The Nature Conservancy in Nevada’s state director. “This partnership is a proactive approach to recovering the species and is part of the bigger conservation picture. We are working to create a healthier environment which, in turn, supports a healthy economy.”

“Fairfield Ranch was a high priority for easement acquisition, and I’m thrilled this project came to fruition,” said Bruce Petersen, NRCS Nevada State Conservationist. “I look forward to continuing to work with our conservation partners to protect critical identified habitat in the future.”