By Eddie Lee Rider, Jr.
ELR: Cielo Vista Ranch grabbed national headlines. Tell our readers just how unique that listing was in terms of size, terrain, wildlife, and your unique marketing efforts.
KM: Cielo Vista Ranch was unique in terms of its sheer size, scope, history and price. These days it is nearly impossible to find a contiguous ranch with over 83,000 acres in the US, let alone in Colorado. It also included Culebra Peak, one of the only privately owned 14ers in the world, as well as four life zones ranging from foothills to alpine and 18 peaks over 13,000 feet. The ranch was also once part of a Spanish land grant and currently has a conservation easement, which presented unique title and access issues as a result.
ELR: You have another monster listing in Cross Mountain Ranch. Tell us about it.
KM: Located in northwest Colorado, Cross Mountain Ranch represents one of the largest and most diverse recreational and operating ranches on the market today. A wildlife preserve stretching over four counties and 224,050± acres of deeded and leased lands, the ranch is home to North America’s largest elk herd. It is an ecologically diverse landscape with two ecosystems and several miles of river frontage.
ELR: You mentioned Cross Mountain Ranch would likely be sold to an ecological-minded buyer. How does that profile differ from a conservation-minded buyer?
KM: While both are good stewards of the land, an ecological buyer goes beyond pure land conservation and protection. They study the various ecological resources of the ranch and implement management techniques to improve and enhance livestock capacity, wildlife and fishery habitat, soils, grasses, riparian areas. A conservation buyer generally preserves landscapes through either conservation easements or selfimposed restrictions which keep working ranches working.
ELR: You sit on the boards of both the Western Landowners Alliance and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. Tell us about those organizations.
KM: Both organizations connect with our mission to keep working ranches working. The Western Landowners Alliance advances policies and practices that sustain working lands, connected landscapes, and native species. It is essentially a voice for landowners throughout the West. Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust helps Colorado’s ranchers and farmers protect their agricultural lands and encourages the intergenerational transfer of ranches and farms.
ELR: Any other listings you would like to bring to the attention of our readers?
KM: Sandstone Ranch has great conservation values near Denver, Moonshine Ranch is an incredible hunting property in Southern Colorado, and Utah’s Wasatch Peaks Ranch has more ski terrain than Vail Mountain. We have recently expanded into Kansas, Nebraska, and Montana, and have some attractive listings in those areas as well.