With funding made available by the 2018 Farm Bill through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) the Orme Ranch is eligible for an NRCS agricultural conservation easement. The funding provided by the NRCS will enable CALT to acquire and hold a conservation easement on the Orme Ranch in perpetuity. This permanent protection effort on the Ranch will remove the development potential and ensure that the agricultural operations continue, guaranteeing that the farm and ranchlands will remain open undeveloped for livestock and wildlife. Equally important, The Orme School will always be surrounded by The Orme Ranch’s undeveloped scenic range land, landmarks such as Buzzard’s Peak and the Mesas, and the working farm fields that are so iconic to this historic landscape and enjoyed by so many since the Ranch and School were founded in 1929.
This exceptional opportunity to complete the Orme Ranch Conservation Easement, with the support of the Farm Bill funding, has now been authorized at the state level. As one of only two priority projects selected for funding this year in Arizona, the Orme Ranch Conservation Easement was chosen due to its significant land and water resources. Most importantly, the ranchlands qualified as ‘Grasslands of Special Environmental Significance (GSS)’, which supports livestock and Arizona’s Pronghorn. Because of this GSS designation, the NRCS funds will pay up to 75% of the value of the conservation easement. Do you recall seeing antelope up along the side of Big Mesa or across from Up Top? As one of the most viable herds in the state, these Pronghorn antelope continue to be an important indicator of land health and quality habitat.
With this great news, we have launched the Orme Ranch Forever campaign to raise the required matching funds to establish the Orme Ranch Conservation Easement. The NRCS funds require that CALT must develop a cash match totaling 25% of the grant funds. The Orme Family will share in this match requirement by donating a generous reduction in value and CALT must raise the remaining amount. The Orme Ranch Forever capital campaign has been launched at www.centralazlandtrust.org with a goal of $400,000 to cover the required cash match, transactional expenses. and a portion of the stewardship endowment. This will allow CALT to establish the conservation easement in 2020.
Your support of the Orme Ranch Forever campaign will make it possible for generations of Orme School students and campers to share in your memorable experiences on the Ranch.
Please consider making your donation today, online or in the enclosed envelope marked with the Orme Ranch Forever stamp. Donations, including easily made installment payments, can be made at https://www.centralazlandtrust.org/. Your tax-deductible donation* will be directed to the Orme Ranch Forever campaign fund to be used solely to support the conservation easement.
Donate online at https://www.centralazlandtrust.org/
- “I am Ash Creek” a treatment by Stuart Rosebrook, PhD and Jeb J. Rosebrook
- Written by Jeb Rosebrook, Stuart Rosebrook PhD and Keith Woods
- Narrated by Keith Woods (https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithbwoods/)
- Photography and Editing by Anthony Canales and Keith Woods
- Key Grip – Max Woods
- Produced by KB Woods Public Relations (https://kbwoods.com/)