We are not here to be just a Guest Ranch. We are here to restore this land, protect its rugged beauty, habitat, wildlife and return it to ecological health. We are here to connect it to larger ecosystems in a key habitat corridor from Mexico to Canada, by ensuring the land, water, and resources are healthy and productive. Working with a diverse coalition of ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists, and others, we can improve land health while simultaneously producing delicious healthful food for our community.
It is because of these things that we are also a Guest Ranch. We wish to share this large western landscape and all it has to offer. The Ranch showcases activities centered on enjoying the land, water, and wildlife. We invite you to come visit, connect with friends and have fun. While you’re here, learn about what we’re doing with this swath of the American West, come to know a little of the complex issues that require an understanding of the big picture, and come to appreciate it as we do. The more we can share the urgency of working together to help keep large landscapes connected, the better. We need a wider net of people to become everyday advocates for regenerative land practices and policy.
A New Land Ethic
The High Lonesome Ranch vision states we are committed to healthy and productive lands, waters, and resources, but more than that, we are committed to demonstrating how private and public lands can be stewarded for ethical uses and economic vitality. Our land ethic, where community includes soil, water, fauna, and flora, as well as people.
The HLR is a private conservation organization anchored by a national-park-scale ranch. HLR is a private conservation organization founded over 25 years ago, HLR’s acreage, and mission have grown to address the challenges of managing a multi-use landscape. Large national parks are important for protection and preservation of wildlife but they are islands of conservation without connection or integration of human use. Healthy, large-scale wild habitats corridors are being fragmented or lost. Overuse and poor management of land and streams have caused water tables to drop, once-fertile valleys to dry up, hydrological cycles to change, and diversity to diminish. We are pioneering strategies to reverse these trends and working landscapes are a key component to linking conserved public lands.
We know that ranching with regenerative practices actually makes the land healthier. Rigid preservation or simply leaving the land alone causes continued degradation. HLR’s adaptive grazing strategy aims to return the landscape to the ecological functioning of 200 years ago when it was characterized by lush wetlands, riparian vegetation and high groundwater tables. Land management, when done right, can be not only profitable, but can heal land and people.
High Lonesome Institute
High Lonesome Institute was established to work with local, regional and national research partners to:
- Coordinate research on HLR lands
- Observe and report the impacts and outcomes of our regenerative processes and resource management
- Create a forum for land regeneration and connectivity
Not Just Another Guest Ranch
There is still a lot of work to be done and it is an ongoing process. We invite you to visit, enjoy this iconic western landscape, and join us in this work.