Category Archives for // CONSERVE


Conservation has long been a cornerstone of our operations. Since our livelihood depends on the vitality of the land, we have a vested interest in keeping these ecosystems healthy and thriving. Because we work closely with conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, we are able to take advantage of science-based management methods to which ranchers have not traditionally been exposed.

July 26, 2011

Horsemanship Clinic

Our horsemanship clinic with Duke and Cam started yesterday and the day ended with working some of the younger horses in the round pen.

At our sister ranch, Chico Basin, there are several broodmares, a few you can see in the picture above, where we get most of the horses that we work with. Here’s a picture of one of the foals that was recently born this summer.

After the foals have matured and developed and we’ve worked with them on being

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July 21, 2011

Horsemanship Clinic Next Week

Next week’s horsemanship clinic will be lead by Zapata and Chico Basin Ranch’s Duke Phillips and Cam Schryver, the horsemanship director at Thacher School in California.

Cam is spending the week riding at our sister ranch, Chico Basin, helping gather cattle and participating in Friday’s branding. After the concert on Saturday and songwriting workshop Sunday at Chico, they’ll head over to Zapata for the clinic. Cam and Duke will be teaching horsemanship skills based on real situations, being out in the

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July 11, 2011

An Afternoon Concert with James McMurtry

We had a great turnout and great weather at yesterday’s show with James McMurtry.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made it a great afternoon and for supporting the Shriver/Wright Memorial Project! The silent auction had some sought-after items including two custom-made bamboo fly rods and a day of fishing, and with the great attendance and bison burger lunches we were able to raise some money for the memorial project.

We had visitors from all over North America including New York,

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June 6, 2011

Saguache Branding

On Saturday several of us went to Saguache to help our friends George and Julie with their branding. It is dry there as well but the cows looked good and healthy. It was neat country with a lot of big hills like the one you see behind Jeff in the picture.

Our guests Jess and Carrie from New York camped out the night before with several of the crew and were close by in the morning to help bring the herd

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May 20, 2011

Joint Week and Rain

We are in the midst of our first Joint Week right now (a.k.a. Colorado Cowboy Week). Our guests have been over at our sister ranch, Chico Basin, all week branding, moving cattle and camping out and just returned back to Zapata late last night– about 10:30! I haven’t had a chance to talk with them too much yet about their experience, but I’m having dinner at the lodge tonight and can’t wait to hear about everything. One thing that I

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May 11, 2011

Humboldt Peak

Humboldt Peak, the last of the Crestones we’ve covered so far, stands at 14,064 ft.

Humboldt Peak is the easiest of the Crestones to climb and often recommended to beginners. The hike up is on an easy trail that goes almost to the top. Closer to the top a little rock traversing is required and is not very challenging.

So if you’re looking to climb your first fourteener, Humboldt Peak is a good place to start.

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April 1, 2011

Escaped Bison

While we were away at the Chico branding calves, our buffs took full advantage of the lack of supervision and busted out of their pasture. I got a call from Asta on Tuesday about noon and heard the news about our escaped herd. Luckily, they were stopped by the fence on the north end of the Wyatt, the pasture north of the Dixie where they were supposed to be. Wednesday was spent fixing the fence and taking them south back into the Dixie. Asta

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March 7, 2011

Snow, Cranes and Bald Eagles

Every March the Sandhill Cranes migrate through the valley and have slowly been making their way in each day since the end of last week. I saw my first group relaxing in a field on the way into town and could see their tall, skinny, grey frames poking about and forgot how tall they were. At first you think you are looking at the front side of a huge coyote, but then you quickly see several hundred of these grey

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September 17, 2010


Over the past month, the coyotes have been getting increasingly close to out homes. We all have been attributing this to the change in weather, and have been keeping an extra close eye on our dogs. During the day, we often see them trotting through the fields, eating or drinking along side the bison or cattle, and are reminded of the degree of wilderness in which we live.

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August 25, 2010

Narrowleaf Cottonwood

The Lodge is surrounded by tall Narrowleaf Cottonwood trees. These trees are in the Willow family so are often mistaken for Willows. Because of their deep strong roots, Narrowleaf Cottonwood’s are commonly used to prevent erosion along streams, their typical habitat. This tree is native the the U.S. and grows fairly rapidly up to heights of sixty feet by twenty years old. Many different animals call these trees home and use them as a main food source. Some of these

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