The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has completed its purchase of the Cripple Cowboy Ranch in the Book Cliffs near the Colorado state line.
The ranch contains 6,042 acres of deeded lands with grazing leases and permits on an additional 109,000 acres. It includes land along Bitter Creek that is an important source of water and cover for wildlife.It also is a critical calving and fawning ground for elk and deer and offers the best opportunity in the area for reintroducing the bison and bighorn sheep that once lived there.
The foundation raised $950,000 to buy the ranch from Jon Hill, who will be allowed to graze cattle on the land for one more year. Within the next year the Bureau of Land Management and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will acquire the land from the foundation in a land swap.
The foundation will then sell some of the land it gets in the swap through the American Public Land Exchange Company to make it available to ranchers for grazing.