The long tradition of livestock grazing on the Valles Caldera lives on in the Valles Caldera Trust’s grazing operation. Among the six purposes of the Valles Caldera Preservation Act of 2000 is that which directs us to continue this tradition by operating the preserve as a working ranch.
Starting with a modest emergency drought relief program for local ranchers in August 2002 (just after the trust assumed management of the preserve), we’ve worked to find a way to provide summer grazing to area ranchers while sustaining the health of the watershed and rangelands.
We define a working ranch as an operation that places its primary emphasis on the stewardship of resources as the foundation for both ecological and economic sustainability. A working ranch: