First was part of hair products-magnate's Tom Redmond's Wolf Springs Ranch (16,000 acres, 6,574 ha), mostly in Huerfano County. Next was the adjoining Boyer Ranch in Custer County (12,500 acres, 5,057 ha).
The photo on the banner of this blog was taken at the Wolf Springs Ranch in northwest Huerfano County.
From the Wet Mountain Tribune:
The acquisition extends the Nation’s presence in the county by another 12,505 acres for an approximate total of 28,855 acres straddling both Huerfano and Custer counties. The land is significant for the Navajo, as it is near the sacred mountain Tsisnaasjini’, also known as Blanca Peak.
In announcing the purchase, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said , “It is a blessing for the Navajo Nation to once again have land in the state of Colorado. When land was being designated by the federal government they refused to include Colorado as part of Navajo. We now own more of our ancestral land with the purchase of Boyer Ranch. It is a beautiful place surrounded by mountain ranges in the shadows of Tsisnaasjini’.In other news, restaurant workers in Westcliffe, Silver Cliff, and Walsenburg are learning how to say "Yah-ta-hey" with the correct intonation.
He went on to speak about the economic opportunities the new addition brings to the Nation: “This is a place where we can develop the Navajo Beef program and eventually provide more opportunities for our ranchers. There is a good market for quality beef in restaurants and grocery stores and Navajo can meet that demand.”
The Nation’s portion of the Wolf Springs Ranch includes about 400 head of cattle, and over 900 head of bison.
The importance of the Boyer Ranch to the Nation goes beyond ranching however, as the ranch has early priority water rights, and the gravel pit there could be used to develop Nation infrastructure. Vice President Jonathan Nez also sees the potential to one day develop an athletic program that takes advantage of the high-altitude of the land.
“We have some remarkable athletes on the Navajo Nation,” he notes, “and this would be a great opportunity to train our youth and celebrate health and wellness. The land there is beautiful and it is not just for us but also for future generations.”
(In other other news, insiders report that the Navajo Nation will petition the U. S. Board on Geographic Names to rename the Sangre de Cristo Range the Monster-Slayer Mountains.)
Wolf Springs Ranch had been involved in Colorado Parks and Wildlife's "Ranching for Wildlife" program, which is a money-maker for the landowner as well as opening up private land to a limited amount of big-game hunting. I wonder what will happen with that.