About the Yampavian Ranch

The Yampavian Ranch is the brainchild of Nancy and John Merrill, who dreamed of establishing a sanctuary for birds and wildlife in their beloved Yampa Valley. Located in Northwest Colorado about 4 hours by car from Denver, the ranch is comprised of 160 acres of bottomland hay meadow, wetlands, and riparian habitat.  The Yampa River (the last, essentially free-flowing river in Colorado) bisects the property for more than a half-mile. 

In 2003, the Merrills placed the ranch under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy, thus adding to the more than 10 miles of river and 5000-plus acres of private land already protected in this area. This donation assures that the land will never be developed nor subdivided; however, it does not change the family ownership of the ranch.

The land of the Yampavian Ranch is rich in avifauna, including more than 130 species of birds that have been seen either migrating through or nesting in the area. Mammals that visit the ranch on a regular basis include mule-ear deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, fox, coyote, badger, skunk, porcupine, and raccoon. Aquatic animals include beaver, muskrat, and  river otter. Native fish species are found in this stretch of the river along with introduced species such as the Northern Pike and Rainbow Trout.