Summer 2016 was a productive and exciting time for the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust (WSGLT). Between the Annual Roundup Barbeque, monitoring, the closing of another conservation easement, and the addition of two new staff members and one new board member, the WSGLT staff and board were kept busy.
In May, Travis Brammer and Maggie Rux, both recent University of Wyoming graduates, joined the WSGLT team. Travis as our Programs and Stewardship Assistant, and Maggie as our External Relations Coordinator.In June, Heath Hunter, joined the WSGLT Board of Directors, and brought with him, his vast knowledge of both the financial and ranching sectors.
The C-Bar-B Ranch conservation easement closed in June. The C-BAR-B ranch is a 1,043 acre property located outside of Buffalo. This easement made national news in and was the subject of a nearly seven year court battle. A 2010 judgement settled the question of the ranch being conserved in perpetuity, and the recent transfer from Johnson County to WSGLT, puts to rest remaining uncertainty about the easement’s stewardship.
July was peak monitoring season for the 234,989 acres of ranch land that WSGLT holds under easement. Eric and Travis, our monitoring team, traveled all over the state to monitor conservation easements and meet with landowners. They would like to express their thanks to Board members Madeleine Murdock and Rob Hendry for hosting them during their travels.
The Annual Roundup Barbeque was the highlight of August. The event was held at the C-BAR-B Ranch, on August 27th. Steve and Marty Gose, the ranch owners, and the Grubb family,the ranch managers, were wonderful hosts and WSGLT is grateful for all of their help with the event. We hosted nearly 300 guests and the evening included music from the High Country Cowboys, a photo booth from Wyoming Photobooth Inc., beer tasting from Black Tooth Brewing,and table wine from Weston Wineries. The WSGLT thanks these wonderful businesses for their help in making this wonderful night possible. We would also like to thank all of our sponsors for the evening. More than 50 businesses, foundations, and individuals sponsored the event. Their support is greatly appreciated.
The night also included a key note speech from Mark Gordon, Wyoming State Treasurer. Who spoke about the importance of working ranches for Wyoming’s economic and sociological future. Laura Bucholz presented Patrick (Pat) O’ Toole with the 2016 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award. The bronze statue, sculpted by Jerry Palen, was awarded to Pat for his notable work in the conservation of Wyoming’s watersheds and ranchlands.
The family of Dr. and Mrs. John and Susie Lunt kindly gifted $25,000, to support the Cultural Landscape Fund (the Fund). The Fund was established by the family of Alvin Wiederspahn to help private landowners maintain the range through ranching culture.
Overall, the 15th Annual Roundup Barbeque was one of the most successful to date in several ways. Not only did the night bring in a substantial amount of support for the future conservation of agricultural lands, but it also had the largest attendance of children that the organization can note. This record attendance was a reminder of the importance of ranchland and wildlife habitat conservation, to ensure that the next generation of Wyomingites will have production agriculture, wide-open spaces, and cowboy culture.