Our country’s national bird and the threatened Gunnison sage-grouse now have additional protected foraging and nesting grounds. These iconic birds face several challenges due to loss of habitat and growing development.
Landowner Zeta Graham is taking action to conserve her 184-acre property, providing critical habitat not only for bald eagles and Gunnison sage-grouse, but also for a variety of other avian, mule deer, antelope, coyote, and several small mammals.
The Graham family generously donated a conservation easement on this important piece of land. Skimming the southwest border of Gunnison, near Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, the property also boasts significant historical value for the Graham family. Homesteaded in the late 1880s, the land was once part of Zeta’s grandfather’s ranch, and has remained in the family since then.
Zeta’s sons, Don and Kevin, will continue to enjoy and manage the property—maintaining the ditches and historic irrigation patterns, as they have since they were young.
The sage brush, wet meadow and irrigated land will prevent further wildlife habitat fragmentation. “I have spent so many years watching the wildlife using our property,” says Don. “I’m really pleased that my family will be able to ensure that the sage-grouse, antelope, and mule deer will always have a safe place to forage.”