Size: 1,826 acres
Location: San Miguel County
Eco-Region: Southern Rocky Mountains
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: June 2010
Many longtime residents of the Santa Fe and Las Vegas area will be familiar with the famous Forked Lightning Ranch located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between the villages of Pecos and Rowe. Texas oilman Buddy Fogelson purchased the ranch in 1941 and ran a small cattle operation. In 1949 Mr. Fogelson married the actress Greer Garson, and the ranch house soon became a center for gracious entertaining.
After Mr. Fogelson’s death in 1987, Ms. Garson inherited the “old” portion of the Forked Lightning Ranch and subsequently donated a portion to the National Park Service to form part of the Pecos National Historical Park. In 2000, actress Jane Fonda purchased what was left of the original ranch after a series of subdivisions and sales over the years. Since then, Ms. Fonda has been working diligently to conserve and improve the unique natural communities on the ranch.
Today, the Forked Lightning Ranch comprises 2,300 acres south of the Pecos National Historic Park and east of the Santa Fe National Forest, and includes over three miles of the Pecos River. The spectacular setting of the ranch is unmatched. The Pecos River meanders through the center of the property and, over millennia, has exposed large rock outcroppings. While piñon-juniper savannas and woodlands predominate throughout most of the ranch, patches of cottonwood and willows define the riparian corridor along the river. These vegetative communities and the river provide excellent natural habitat for a host of native species of fish and wildlife, including elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, beaver, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and rainbow trout.
We are extremely excited and honored to have the opportunity to work with Ms. Fonda to protect this unique property, not only for its high conservation value but due to its historical significance for the area as well.