Nelson Ranch

A Washington way of life

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the Okanogan Valley Land Council are helping to keep working families on their land and in the job they love: traditional cattle ranching.

Five generations of Nelsons have ranched here, and today they own about 1,000 acres of land. But the family leases over 35,000 acres of grazing land from neighbors, making the ranch a vital economic anchor in this part of the Okanogan Highlands and a keystone in preserving this special part of the American Landscape.

As they weather these hard economic times, the Nelsons are feeling pressure to subdivide their land. But instead of selling, they have turned to TPL for help. The conservation easement placed on the ranch in June 2011 will help put them on a firmer financial footing, and on course to pass their ranching tradition to their daughter one day.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.