The New Mexico Land Conservancy remembers our dear friend Gene Simon, who passed away on May 8 at his beloved River Ranch.
Gene and Elisabeth Simon first approached NMLC conservation options for their ranch in late 2009. When NMLC identified an opportunity to work with New Mexico State Forestry, the Simons liked the idea of the public-private partnership, so they decided to proceed with an easement over their 1,000 acre ranch along the Mimbres River near the City of Rocks State Park southeast of Silver City in southwestern New Mexico. The conservation easement permanently protects a three-mile stretch of the Mimbres River that supports a mature cottonwood-ash gallery forest (including the state champion velvet ash tree), and a large area of native sacaton grassland.
In September, NMLC presented an event in celebration of the easement at the ranch which was attended by some 100 friends and neighbors of the Simons and NMLC. It was attended by some 100 friends and neighbors of the Simons and NMLC. Gene was thrilled to see the property permanently protected: “After living in this beautiful valley for so long and coming to know all the natural and cultural treasures on this ranch, I couldn’t stand the thought of breaking up the integrity of this incredible place and someone putting up a bunch of houses and mobiles homes on the ranch after Libby and I are gone.”