Meet Gary and Georgia Walker of Turkey Creek Ranch, just outside Pueblo, Colorado, winners of the 2014 Leopold Conservation Award for Colorado. The ranch is 65,000 deeded acres manage for both wildlife and livestock. It is home to three, rare plants and herds of pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, and wild turkeys. Even the ranch itself is rare, as few, if any ranches of such size and natural condition remain so close to a major metropolitan area.
For the Walkers, cattle ranching and wildlife management go hand in hand, and it’s the partnerships they’ve created along the way that have made this possible. To manage the 10,000 acres of prairie dogs, they worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-introduce black footed ferrets, a natural prairie dog predator that was almost extinct. They’ve also worked with the U.S. Army and nearby Fort Carson as part of their efforts to protect rare plants, and with the Nature Conservancy and other neighbors.
In this video, you’ll visit the ranch and learn a little more about the partnerships and work the ranch does to support livestock and wildlife.