Cornwell Ranch Conserves Land for the Future
The Cornwell family recently placed more than 15,000 acres of their ranch under conservation easements with the Nature Conservancy in Montana. By placing this land under conservation easement, they have ensured continued conservation of prairie habitat, while also making sure of a bright future for the historic ranch.
Recent portions of the land placed under easement include important prairie wetlands with Aspen groves, which are critical to wildlife in northeast Montana. Rare strands of cottonwood also follow along Buggy Creek, which cut across the property. Other easements placed include unusual spring-fed wetlands and outstanding grasslands. The deep soils found on the property support the kind of highly productive grassland that have largely been converted to cropland.
These improvements are a way to ensure the land continues to be used for family ranching while also providing a high quality habitat for wildlife in the area. The Cornwell ranch is within some of the best breeding habitat in the U.S. for several species of declining grassland songbirds, and also provides habitat for swift fox, pronghorn, and winter range for mule deer.
According to the Nature Conservancy’s Montana Grasslands Conservation Director Brian Martin, the Cornwells have been tremendous partners who’ve shown a deep dedication to sustainable ranching, as evidenced by the health of the habitat which supports a rich array of prairie wildlife.