The Vision

"A community in which ranching, recreational, and preservation interests work together to protect and enrich the great agricultural heritage and landscapes of the American West."


Steve and Ann Stranahan built The Home Ranch in 1980, on 560 acres. Over the years they were able to acquire adjacent properties, and now own over 4000 acres, a bowl of land that touches National Forest lands on both the east and west borders.

In 1992, the Stranahans made a covenant with the neighbors who shared their mission of preservation:

"None of us will build homes that are easily visible from the valley floor. This covenant with our neighbors and with the Land Trusts is to preserve the integrity of the Elk River Valley, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled alpine ranching valleys still existing in America."

Over the years, much of the land has been placed into conservation easements, and strong relationships have been formed with other large landowners who share the desire to protect the valley. As a result, most of the upper Elk River Valley is protected by permanent conservation easements created among trusting neighbors. This wonderful land can only be minimally developed - if at all.

Routt County residents have demonstrated a collective effort at preservation of this landscape by twice approving measures to fund the purchase of development rights with taxpayer dollars. Over 56,000 acres representing 7% of all private land have been protected under conservation easements.