A spectacularly sited expanse of shortgrass prairie located east of Pueblo, CO, the 26,018 total acre BX Ranch is one of Colorado’s great land conservation and regenerative agricultural success stories. Situated just south of the confluence of the Arkansas and Huerfano Rivers and identified by State wildlife officials as crucial shortgrass prairie habitat, the ranch was rescued from decades of over grazing and abuse and given more than a full year of rest. With help from the Savory Institute, the current landowners made significant capital improvements, installing state-of-the-art short-rotation grazing infrastructure, including miles of new electric interior paddock fencing and extensive waterlines servicing new stock tanks and ponds. The improvements allow for a much more productive and healthy grazing regimen which has lead to the robust return of native grasses and a diversity and density of herbaceous cover. Given the increased vegetation, the ranch is more drought tolerant, and boasts more than double the per-acre carrying capacity of other area ranches. As a large, healthy, and productive expanse of native prairie grass land, the BX is an excellent long-term agricultural investment.
The BX is located approximately 25 miles east of Pueblo, CO just south of the confluence of the Huerfano and Arkansas Rivers. An easy 20 minute drive from Pueblo, the north boundary of the ranch lies 3 miles south of US Hwy 50 and is accessed by full service county roads. Heading east of Pueblo along the Arkansas River, the setting quickly becomes more rural upon entering the area known as East Mesa, which is mostly made up of lush farmland irrigated out of the river and the Huerfano Uplands to the south side of the river, consisting mostly of wide open rangelands and shortgrass prairie. The natural vegetation and ecology of the Huerfano Uplands and the BX Ranch consist primarily of untilled native shortgrass prairie, cholla shrublands, wetlands, riparian vegetation, and seeps and springs. The confluence of the Huerfano and Arkansas Rivers is historically significant and was a major landmark along the Santa Fe Trail, serving as the gateway to the Spanish Peaks Country and La Veta Pass. The ranch is historically and archaeologically important, with a number of significant cultural sites including a pioneer cemetery on the western edge of the property overlooking the Huerfano River Valley.
While there are no residential improvements on the BX, the ranch has a full set of steel pipe working pens including loading chute, squeeze, calf-table, and 360 sq. ft. container/storage shed.
Pueblo is the 9th largest city in Colorado and plays an important part of the front range urban corridor. Home to ~160,000 residents and known for its industrial heritage in steel production, mining, and agriculture, Pueblo offers a full array of modern amenities and services, including big-box regional retail shopping, and full-service hospitals and health facilities. Pueblo Memorial Airport is a 15 minute drive from the ranch, and in addition to regional commuter service (United Express) to Denver International Airport (DIA), has an active tower-served FBO offering general aviation jet service and ground transportation.
The ranch generally has an arid climate typical of this portion of the Great Plains with low humidity and most of the annual participation (~12 inches) occurring during the summer months.
- Rainfall (in.): 11.5”
- Snowfall (in.): 5”
- Precipitation Days: 31
- Sunny Days: 335
- July High: 95°, Avg, July Low: 61°
- Jan. High: 48°, Avg, Jan Low: 17°
Wildlife & Ecology
The BX ranch has not been actively hunted in a number of years. It is located in Game Management Unit # 128 and is home to a wide range of mammals including: pronghorn antelope, mule deer, coyote, and bobcat, as well as unique species of birds and amphibians including long-billed curlew, scaled quail, raptors, mountain plovers, upland sandpipers, burrowing owl, Cassin’s sparrow, lark bunting, grey vireo, curve-billed thrasher, horned lizard, and plains leopard frog.
Historically managed as a conventional year-round cow calf operation, the BX Ranch was severely overgrazed and in terrible shape when the current owner acquired it. Recognizing an opportunity and the ecological significance of a shortgrass prairie property of this size, and with help from The Nature Conservancy and the Savory Institute, current ownership committed to a long-term management plan including an intensive 3-year species inventory and vegetative analysis of the ranch. Meanwhile, they made the significant investment in the operational infrastructure on the ranch which allowed a change from conventional management to a more intensive and healthy short-rotation grazing practice that has worked wonders in returning the range to health. The enhanced working infrastructure has made the ranch much more productive with a healthy and resilient range condition and improved year-round carrying capacity now rated for more than 800 pairs.
The ranch is all grassland and does not include any irrigated ground. The livestock operations are served by six permitted deep aquifer wells and a 60,000 ga. 3 storage tank battery that delivers water to a total of 38 separate pastures/paddocks across the ranch.
The 26,018 total acre BX Ranch is remarkably well served by brand new state-of-the-art regenerative grazing infrastructure. Facilities include 48 miles of new interior electric fencing, which make up a total of 38 standalone grazing pastures/paddocks (~650 acre avg. size). Each pasture is served by at least one and in most cases two or more of the more than 40 ponds and stock tanks across the ranch. Each paddock is served by a network of new 3” PVC water lines serviced by a 60,000 gallon water storage tank battery strategically located in the middle of the property. The enhanced ranch infrastructure has made the ranch much more productive and healthy range condition with a year-round carrying capacity now rated for more than 800 year-round pairs. The ranch is fully accessible to 4×4 ranch vehicles, serviced by a network of typical two-track ranch roads.
One of eastern Colorado’s great conservation success stories, the BX Ranch is protected by a conservation easement held by the Palmer Land Trust, an ideal landowner friendly partner whose focus is the protection of South Eastern Colorado and is fully committed to the long term conservation of Colorado’s ranching heritage, agriculture, open spaces, and working landscapes. A copy of the Deed of Conservation Easement is available upon request.