Size: 23,057 acres
Location: Mora County
Eco-Region: Southern Shortgrass Prairie
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement, Purchased Conservation Easement
Date Completed: August 2012, December 2013, and July 2014
Wagon Mound Ranch stretches over 23,000 deeded acres in Mora County, NM, approximately 15 miles east of the town of Wagon Mound. Landowner Greg Moore has worked with the New Mexico Land Conservancy to conserve the entire ranch in three conservation easement phases, a process that started in 2011 and was completed in 2014. The ranch lies south and east of Las Mesas de Conjelon and includes a broad valley that drops in elevation as it heads towards the Canadian River. The riparian areas of Carrizo Creek host some cottonwoods and willow species. The remainder of Wagon Mound Ranch consists of grama grassland, ponderosa on mesa tops, pinon-juniper, cholla cactus, prickly pear cactus, and yucca.
Mr. Moore was motivated to place an easement over his family’s ranch in order to avoid the prospect of subdivision and development that is threatening agricultural communities across New Mexico. The Hi-Lo country of northeastern New Mexico offers exciting potential for large-scale conservation of private lands like Wagon Mound Ranch that act as wildlife migration corridors and sustainable grazing operations. NMLC partnered with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to secure funding for conservation of 15,373 out of the 23,000+ acres under easement. The completion of the Wagon Mound Ranch project is a great step forward for land conservation in Mora County.