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“One of the most valuable rewards of our mission of conservation is knowing that this land and these traditions will be preserved for another generation.” - Ranchlands founder and granddad of this mini cowboy @dukephillipsIII Photo by @kevinzacher #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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Recently at the Zapata, photographed by our favorite singing cowgirl, Frankie ( @drankie) #ranchlandszapataranch

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Notes From The Saddle: Take a look inside Brandon's notes from a day of prepping pastures for a large cattle move this week. With miles of sage and sand between him and the list of things that need to be done, it's imperative to have every fencing tool, tire, and T-post in the back of the truck before heading out. Photos by @kinikinik #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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For everyone on the ranch, a good day starts with a hearty breakfast. Here, an orphan calf is bottle fed to build strength so she can soon graze on her own.⁠ Photo by @lolablanchehiggins #ranchlandszapataranch

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There are plenty of great breakfast spots in southern Colorado, but we’re still partial to sizzling eggs, bacon, and toast cooked over an open skillet at #RanchlandsCamp⁠ Photo by @isabelbutler

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The @ranchlandsmercantile spent yesterday making custom chinks for a few lucky wranglers from the #ranchlandszapataranch. After years of wearing their own pairs of chinks, chaps, and "shotguns", our leather artisans are thinking as much about performance as they are about style with each stitch they make.⁠ Photo by @abbysanturbanephoto #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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The best way to beat the summer heat is getting a full day of work done before the sun comes up.⁠ Photo by @kevinzacher #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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The volume and diversity of insect life at the Chico is enormous. In a world where urbanization, pesticide use, and intensifying agriculture are leaded to a marked decrease in insect populations, our native prairies still provide habitat for many species. This Saturday from 8-11pm, our friends at Mile High Bug Club invite you to join them on the ranch in a quest for beautiful moths and other nocturnal insects as part of National Moth Week. We look forward to seeing you there! Photos by Eric Eaton #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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They really are as soft as they look. Photo by @madelinejorden #ranchlandszapataranch

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I’ve always been obsessed with birds of prey and was really thrilled when I heard that an extremely rare ferruginous/red-tailed hawk hybrid was spotted near Zapata ranch old headquarters. As I drove out to old HQ I glanced through binoculars at every passing bird and couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted the hybrid and it’s red-tailed mate right where it had been seen the year before by Ted Floyd, a prominent ornithologist. This particular hybrid has only been sighted twice in the wild, and will likely be the rarest bird that I will ever see in my lifetime. Lucky for Zapata visitors, it likely has a nest near old HQ and is easily seen during tours of the area. Photo and caption by @grizkid #ranchlandszapataranch #wildlifewednesday

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Madi tacking up her horse for an early branding morning ride out. Photo by @kevinzacher #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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Last light on the ranch. Photo by @forestwoodward for @filson1897 #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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Come October, the mountainsides around the Zapata will be awash in golden aspen leaves. Join us for a photo workshop with landscape photographer Steve Weaver to capture the special beauty of fall in the Rockies. September 29 - October 5. Email stay@ranchlands.com for more info. Photos by @avery.sass #ranchlandszapataranch

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Sam & PB coming down the fence. Photo by @abbysanturbanephoto #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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Getting the herd moving. Photo by @abbysanturbanephoto #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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GIVEAWAY: We're giving away a Colter Wall t-shirt and a pair of @ranchlandsmercantile leather koozies to two customers who buy tickets to the Colter Wall at Chico Basin Ranch concert on July 20th between now and July 19th! ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ First, tag a friend who you think would like to attend.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Then, follow the link in our bio to buy one or two tickets to be entered for the t-shirt or buy three or more tickets to be entered for the pair of koozies! We’ll announce the winners the night of the concert!

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Beefmasters have been living at the Chico for nearly twenty years now and have woven themselves seamlessly into the fabric of the food web. The Chico is comprised mostly of native shortgrass prairie, with large areas of sand sagebrush ecosystems as well. Our cattle thrive here. The Medano-Zapata Ranch sits in a unique and extremely dry intermountain valley, comprised of mixed grass and shrubs, where some pastures are very sandy, where the winter nights can be brutally cold. Our cattle thrive here, too. The MP Ranch is rocky, scrubby country in the foothills of central New Mexico, where the cattle must weave through a difficult maze of pinyon-juniper to find the best feed. Here too, our cattle thrive. In all of these various environments, the Beefmaster cow’s fertility and hardiness are put to the test out on the range, and even as they are forced to quickly learn the wisdom of new landscapes on the ranches we manage, high quality production is never compromised. Read more at link in bio. Photos by @madelinejorden #beefmasters

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Of all the diverse classes of cattle we have on the Chico, our mother cows work the hardest. From breeding, carrying a calf to term, to providing milk and protection for a calf through weaning and sometimes longer, the mother cows work tirelessly for the majority of the year. Fertility and mothering ability are of the utmost importance, as open cows are a drain on resources, consuming valuable grass without producing anything in exchange, so we hold our cows to very high standards. Those that don't breed and calve successfully as two-year-old heifers are culled from the herd. Read more at link in bio. Photo by @mdelormephoto #beefmasters

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Ranchlands' Beefmasters trace their lineage back to the Foundation herd, the original herd of cattle that Tom Lasater used to establish the breed in 1951. The Foundation herd has been "closed" since 1937, meaning no bulls, cows, semen, embroyos, or other outside genetic material has been introduced since that time. In 1989, Duke Phillips III purchased his first fifteen Beefmaster cows from this storied herd, which, in addition to excellent genetics, had been meticulously culled according to the Lasater philosophy of cattle raising that emphasizes production and functional efficiency. The Lasaters were visionary in their understanding that cattle should live harmoniously with nature in order to maximize both profits and impact on the land, and our philosophy at Ranchlands owes much to the influence of the Lasaters, their family, and the school of thought they established and circulated throughout the world of cattlemen. Photos courtesy of the Dale Lasater Ranch. #beefmasters

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A Beefmaster cow is more that an animal; she is a management philosophy embodied. A flesh-and-blood way of living with the land that represents how humans and their animals might do better to live in harmony with the indigenous patterns of the natural world than to try to fight them. Rather than the hide color, Beefmaster breeders prioritize an animal's ability to defend itself and its offspring from predators. Rather than spray with insecticides, Beefmaster breeders select for animals that aren't bothered by insects or pests, just as a native species to the grassland ecosystem would be. After decades of rigorous culling to maximize these traits of functional efficiency, today's Beefmasters are more able to live harmoniously with nature as a fully-embedded member of a functional ecosystem. Read more at the link in bio. Photos by @madelinejorden #beefmasters

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Ponying one extra roping horse out to the branding on Wednesday #ranchlandschicobasinranchï»ż Photo by @anni.glissman

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Curious cow #ranchlandschicobasinranchï»ż Photo by @kevinzacher

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Dawn patrol #ranchlandschicobasinranch Photo by @kevinzacher

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Long-distance cattle move vistas #ranchlandschicobasinranchï»ż Photo by @lucy.maude

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Good morning! #ranchlandszapataranch⠀ Photo by @annaelledge

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Dunes day with @cmforbes and Sug #ranchlandszapataranch

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Owls of all shapes and sizes: Flammulated, Great Horned, and Barn. Year-round residents at our ranches, owls are reliably seen throughout the year. #🩉 #wildlifewednesday #ranchlandszapataranch #ranchlandschicobasinranch⠀⠀ Photos by @lolablanchehiggins @annaelledge and Chris Haag

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A very new, very small pronghorn fawn spotted just off a two track this morning. A pronghorn’s primary defense against predators is its speed, so while the newborns are still wobbly and unable to keep up with theirs mothers, they spend much of the day curled up sleeping in tall grass where coyotes hopefully won’t notice them. Photo by @madelinejorden #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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All of Colorado is officially drought free for the first time in nearly two years. We’ve had a high volume of moisture already this spring, which means things greened up early this year. How’s everyone else’s spring been? Photo by @grizkid #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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August 1 & 2 we’re hosting a wetland restoration and road drainage workshop at Chico Basin Ranch. Space is limited to twenty participants, and there is no fee to attend thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. For more info or to hold a spot email events@ranchlands.com. Photo by @madelinejorden #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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@greatsanddunesnps, or Colorado's largest sandbox #ranchlandszapataranch⠀ Photo by @isaaacole

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@kateloveshorses checking in with her gals Queenie and Shiner #ranchlandszapataranch⠀ Photo by @annaelledge

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Despite it's name, the Mountain Plover actually breeds in flat, short-grass areas rather than in the mountains. Because prairie dogs (and livestock) keep grasses well-pruned, their colonies provide ideal habitat for Mountain Plovers who need grasses averaging less than three inches in height in which to nest. Rangelands are perfect for Mountain Plovers, whereas prairies converted to agricultural areas eliminate plover habitat, resulting in the Mountain Plover being proposed to be listed as a Federally Threatened Species in 2010. Two young chicks were spotted on the Chico last summer by Bill Maynard. Hopefully there's another nest full of chicks around this year! Photos by Bill Maynard #ranchlandschicobasinranch

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Roundup of some recent favorite guest and staff pics #ranchlandszapataranch Photos by @brettbakertv @schwix1 @grungia @h4rped @stefangrow @sammullen73 @amysonnicksen

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This summer we’re opening our @ranchlandsmercantile shop to a small group of guests who’d like to learn more about leather work and create their own items over the course of a four day workshop with our artisans Andrea & Madi. July 7-11, 2019. Email stay@ranchlands.com with questions or for more info! Photos by @abbysanturbanephoto

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Summer Snookie 🌾 #ranchlandszapataranch⠀ Photo by @lolablanchehiggins

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There's still room left to join us for a branding at Zapata Ranch June 9-15! Email stay@ranchlands.com to get a spot.⠀ Photo by @mdelormephoto

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Co-pilots #dogsofranchlands⠀ Photo by @lolablanchehiggins

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Bison sighting #ranchlandszapataranch⠀ Photo by @lolablanchehiggins

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Every now and then, a new calf is orphaned and must be bottle-fed. Obviously we don't hope for these scenarios, but it's hard to deny the fun in getting to tend to a tiny calf. #ranchlandszapataranch⠀ Photo by @lolablanchehiggins

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Lil Duke lets one fly at a branding in 2014. Do you think he caught what he was aiming for? #ranchlandschicobasinranch #branding⠀ Photo by @isaaacole

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Blue-winged Teals against a blue Chico sky #ranchlandschicobasinranch⠀ Photo by Bill Maynard

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We're hiring! Looking to fill these positions ASAP: ranch intern at the MP Ranch, NM, horsemanship intern at the Wilder Ranch, SD, and a digital marketing manager. More info in our story highlights.⠀ Photo by @annaelledge

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Just hands down one of the best places in the world to gallop a horse ✹ @greatsanddunesnps #ranchlandszapataranch Photo by @avery.sass

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It’s #endangeredspeciesday. The black-footed ferret, a species native to central North America, declined steadily throughout the 20th century as a result of disappearing prairie dog populations, their primary source of food. In the 1970s, the ferrets were believed extinct until a small group were discovered in Wyoming. With a successful captive breeding and reintroduction program there are once again wild populations on native grasslands. We hope the large prairie dog colonies on our ranches will one day also be able to support these native predators! Photos by @coparkswildlife @madelinejorden

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Morning commute at the Zapata #ranchlandszapataranch Photo by @lolablanchehiggins

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Our neighbor the Great Sand Dunes National Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Park. We can vouch that our corner of the San Luis Valley is one of the quietest, darkest, most peaceful spots we’ve ever been đŸ’« @greatsanddunesnps Photo by NPS/Patrick Meyer

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Scenes from #ranchlandscamp Photos by @gtigan

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Curious George #ranchlandschicobasinranch Photo by @lucy.maude

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“I especially like working in places like this, where I get to interact with the public and share what I’m doing. Science literacy is important, and someone studying birds isn’t something people think about very often, but everyone has seen and heard birds every day of their life in some form.” The Colorado Springs Gazette @co_gazette came out to the ranch to interview this season’s bird bander @genday. Read the full article at link in bio. #ranchlandschicobasinranch Photo by @madelinejorden