Historic Carbon County, Wyo., farm conserved
RIVERSIDE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust has conserved the 543-acre Peryam Ranch located near Riverside, Wyo., in the Upper North Platte River Valley. The ranch was conserved in partnership with the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Gates Frontier Fund.
This multi-generational ranch is situated on the banks of the Encampment River, and lies between the Snowy and Sierra Madre mountain ranges, making the property a beautiful example of the pivotal relationship between sustainable agriculture, wildlife and conservation. Bob Budd, executive director of the WWNRT reflected on the conservation project, “The Saratoga Valley and the river systems there are a real treasure, and this easement assures the integrity of the river, migration and winter habitat for big game, and riparian habitats for multiple species. In addition, it maintains a longtime family ranching operation and a legacy that is the bedrock of Wyoming values.”
The land was homesteaded in the late 1870s by W.T. Peryam, an English immigrant, who came to the upper Platte Valley as one of its first settlers. Some of his original homestead buildings, which were among the first structures built in the Encampment Valley, are still standing today. W.T. and his sons played a large role in establishing the Encampment Valley as an agricultural community, and now over 130 years after W.T. homesteaded the land, the fourth generation of the family has chosen to conserve the ranch in partnership with the WSGLT.
Alan Peryam, co-owner of the ranch expressed the importance of conserving the ranch saying, “Our family is pleased to place a conservation easement on Peryam Ranch to assure that our land will continue to be used for ranching and other agriculture in the future. Since W.T. Peryam and his family arrived as some of the earliest settlers in the valley, this land has been used for ranching. We now know that these uses of our portion of his original holdings will continue in perpetuity, as will the scenic and other values to the community and the wildlife and fisheries habitat. We are grateful to the WSGLT, who will hold the easement, and to the WWNRT, the Gates Frontier Fund and many others for helping to make this transaction possible.”
Peryam Ranch is located within a designated Greater Sage Grouse Core Area and encompassed by crucial habitat for mule deer and moose. Natural Resources Conservation Services State Conservationist Astrid Martinez spoke about the value of conserving vital wildlife habitat stating, “Though small, the importance of the Peryam Ranch easement cannot be emphasized enough. The land conserved here will provide serene acres for continued sage grouse reproduction for years to come.”
The Encampment River, which winds through the ranch, has been identified as a Blue Ribbon Stream and supports a thriving trout population and is part of the Upper North Platte Aquatic Crucial Habitat Priority Area. Diane Wallach with the Gates Frontiers Fund commented on the project, “We are excited to be able to support the conservation of this Encampment Valley property with such a rich ranching history and outstanding land and water resources.”
The Peryam ranch adds to the more than 40,000 acres of wide-open spaces that the WSGLT has conserved in Carbon County. Eric Schacht, conservation director for the WSGLT commented on the closing saying, “The Encampment and Upper North Platte River valleys are experiencing rural subdivision pressure, which can directly impact agricultural production, open space and wildlife habitats. Conserving Wyoming’s farms and ranches ensures that agricultural landscapes, wildlife habitat, and the history of these unbroken landscapes will remain for future generations.” ❖