For some, being a landowner is much more than a legal right—it is an ideal that brings with it great responsibility.
In 2006, the 113-acre Greil Ranch located on the east side of Washoe Lake became Nevada Land Trust’s first conservation easement, designed to protect its agricultural resources and wildlife habitat.
Jim Greil was raised on this land, and he and his wife Lou wished to maintain the ranch's character in perpetuity. "We feel as if we are visitors and it is our responsibility to steward the resources for the wildlife and keep the land open," Jim explained. The ranch abuts Nevada State Park land to the west and BLM land to the east, thereby providing a critical access corridor for wildlife.
The Greil Ranch produces high-quality alfalfa hay. In addition to cropland, the ranch contains healthy native sagebrush habitat for a vast array of wildlife, including mule deer, mountain lion, bobcat, ducks, geese, raptors, great horned owls and numerous other bird species. The ranch also includes ponds popular with waterfowl and wildlife.
Jim and Lou approached the Nevada Land Trust to assist them in protecting their ranch, and with financial support from the USDA Farm and Ranchland Protection Program and Nevada's State Question One grant program, a conservation easement was realized in 2006.
The efforts of Jim and Lou Greil are celebrated for many reasons—they not only protect Greil Ranch and the many species of wildlife that inhabit it, they serve as a beacon to others in pursuit of conservation and help pave the way for future easements in Nevada.