Projects on the Ranch
[This area is still under construction, photos to come soon!]

Yampavian Ranch Wetland Restoration Project (original project completed May, 2004)

 We were awarded two grants  ( one from US Fish and Wildlife Service, and  one from Colorado Division of Wildlife Wetlands Program) for a project to restore native woody vegetation, following natural patterns of establishment, to an old channel feature (slough) located on the Morgan Bottoms Reach of the Yampa River.  725 native trees and shrubs of different sizes (1-5 gallons) consisting of 6 species (Narrowleaf Cottonwood, Red Osier Dogwood, Western Serviceberry, River Hawthorne, Chokecherry, and Golden Currant) were planted in a 4 acre area (3 acres of wetland; 1 upland acre) and then fenced. The species were chosen on the basis of research done on similar settings along the Yampa River in this area. In addition, 107 willow cuttings from the property were transplanted into the fenced project area.  In August, 2004, 20 chokecherry trees were planted as replacements for 20 that had died during the summer.  In October, 2007, 76 additional willow cuttings were planted on the north end of the project.  In September, 2008, the following native plants were added to the project:

5 (5 gallon) Western Serviceberry; 5 (5 gallon) Thinleaf Alder; 5 (5 gallon) Douglas Hawthorne;  and 10 (5 gallon) Wood’s Rose.


Yampa River Bank Stabilization Project- (begun in 2005;  completed in 2006)

We were awarded a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (part of the Farm Service Agency) covering  3⁄4 of the cost of a project to stabilize  approximately 715 feet of near vertical raw banks in two locations along the Yampa River.  This bank stabilization was intended to create conditions that would allow woody riparian vegetation  to become established. A rock vane was constructed upstream of the work area, and banks were reshaped to a slope of  approximately 3:l.  Sod mats and willow mats harvested from the property were set on the reshaped banks.  45 native trees and shrubs consisting of Narrowleaf Cottonwood, Red Osier Dogwood, and Thinleaf Alder were planted on the East section of the project.  On the West end  216 willow cuttings taken from a different section of the river  were transplanted  Between these two locations there existed a very stable and thick woody riparian-dominated bank that was used as the basis for bank reshaping dimensions and the tree/shrub plantings.


Morgan Tree House (completed in September, 2003)

Our friends, Susan and Jack Morgan, offered to design and build a tree house  for us on the ranch. Jack drew up plans and began the project in September, 2003.  We selected a mature cottonwood tree that overlooked both the river and the riparian woods at the west end of the property.  Jack and Susan initiated and completed most of the project in one weekend; we then hired a trained carpenter to reinforce and complete their work.  The tree house has served as a prime picnic and birding spot on the ranch ever since.  It is a favorite destination of our beloved granddaughter, Lucy, when she visits the ranch.  From the treehouse we have been able to observe  Sandhill Cranes staging in the meadows in the fall, Bullocks Orioles nesting in nearby trees,Yellow Warblers foraging for insects just above our heads, and Common Mergansers escorting their young down the river. Bald Eagles regularly land on a tall dead snag just a short distance from the tree house.  In the spring when the river floods, the tree house is our island for listening to the frogs and watching the Great Blue Herons catch fish.