The Gates Family, the A-A Ranch (Lissa and Justin Howe and Benjy Duke), and Big Creek Ranch (Mark Dunning) have been an integral partner in managing the aquatic and terrestrial resources in the Platte Valley for many decades. Their conservation ethic and proper land management benefit their operations and provides healthy habitats for wildlife. Their attention to detail for riparian conditions, stream habitat, stream flow, fish passage and water temperatures have allowed them to properly conserve and protect the wild fisheries on their properties.  
The Big Creek and A-A Ranches are located in extremely important terrestrial wildlife habitats in the Platte Valley. These habitats include critical ranges for mule deer, bighorn sheep, and sage grouse. Mark Dunning has not only been supportive of the Platte Valley Mule Deer Initiative as the Big Creek Ranch Manager, but has also been active in identifying and participating in large-scale habitat projects with the Platte Valley Habitat Partnership.

It is fair to say it would be extremely difficult to manage wildlife in the upper North Platte River valley without the cooperation of these ranches. The ability of these ranches to continue to balance the dynamic needs of wildlife and fisheries, while operating a successful livestock and guest ranch operations, is nothing short of amazing.
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Gates Family, Lissa and Justin Howe, Benjy Duke and Mark Dunning
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