“Yes, I Do Mean Forever” May Ranch Conserved
ARVADA, Colo. (Dec. 20, 2016) – With backing from multiple partners and dedication from a passionate ranching family, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) and The Conservation Fund (TCF) have successfully collaborated to conserve the 16,480-acre May Ranch in Prowers County, Colorado. Conservation of the May Ranch will permanently conserve a substantial portion of shortgrass prairie and benefit the eastern Colorado ranching and wildlife communities that rely on it. Other supporters of the project include the Colorado Conservation Partnership and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
Irene May and her two sons, Dallas and Bon May, are the owners of the May Ranch and have been involved in the management of the property for more than 30 years. In that time, Dallas has watched the land survive crippling droughts and harsh winter snowstorms; he has seen neighboring grassland ranches plowed up and converted to cropland or windfarms; and he has also had the joy of raising his kids and grandkids on this property. Four generations of the May family are involved in the ranch, and each morning Dallas feeds the cows with his two-year-old granddaughter -an eager morning ritual for her.
The May family’s passion for the land started with Dallas’s father, Raymond May, and was renewed when he passed away 10 years ago. With new purpose, Dallas and his family began searching for solutions to ensure that this land would remain the same for future generations, something his father had spent his life working toward. They began looking into conservation easements, and in 2015 officially moved forward with conserving the ranch. Now that the conservation easement is complete, Dallas and his family feel secure knowing that this land will remain undeveloped, and future generations, whether his family or not, will be able to work, watch the sunset over the limestone bluffs, and call home.
“To be able to place a perpetual easement on our ranch that will assure that the same environmental conditions that exist today will be here forever, yes I do mean forever, is unbelievable,” said Dallas.
At a time when their ranch and much of the surrounding area is being targeted for development of solar farms and shortgrass prairie is frequently converted to cropland, conservation of the May Ranch is vital for the entire shortgrass prairie ecosystem- one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the world. Most notably, the ranch includes 7 miles of Big Sandy Creek, overlaps with three potential conservation areas designated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and is a TNC priority area.
“The Conservation Fund has been active in Colorado for over 30 years, and has worked with CCALT on many collaborative projects. This one is our largest, and the Mays are certainly one of the most generous and committed families we have ever encountered. It has been an honor to help protect this unique and special landscape,” said Sydney Macy, the Fund’s Colorado director.
This conservation wouldn’t have happened without the support and cooperation of so many partners and the dedication and passion of the May family who stewards this property day in and day out. Momentum from this conservation has the potential to propel further conservation of our vital eastern Colorado grasslands. These ecosystems will support not only future generations of the May family, but future generations of all Coloradans for many years to come.
Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust protects Colorado’s agricultural land, heritage and families for future generations by conserving working rural landscapes. For more information visit www.ccalt.org.
The Conservation Fund makes conservation work for America, by creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, the Fund works in all 50 states and has protected nearly 8 million acres of land. For more information please visit www.conservationfund.org
Colorado Conservation Partnership is a partnership consisting of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund and Colorado Open Lands. The goal of the partnership is to develop a comprehensive vision to address the challenges and opportunities facing land conservation in Colorado.
The Colorado Nature Conservancy works to protect and restore Colorado’s lands, forests and waters for future generations. In the past 50 years, TNC has helped protect more than one million acres and improved 1,000 river miles across the state.