Leo Land and Livestock & the RF Ranch

2023 Landowner of the Year - Sheridan Region
Get Involved / Landowner of the Year / Leo Land and Livestock & the RF Ranch

Landowners: Kathleen Hollcroft and Sam Reinke

The Sheridan Region is pleased to award Kathleen Hollcroft and her son Sam Reinke, owners of Leo Land and Livestock and the RF Ranch, as the 2023 Landowner of the Year. Kathleen’s longtime support of Game and Fish personnel has been greatly appreciated. She and Sam have allowed a variety of aquatic wildlife surveys and projects to occur on their property. Their willingness to allow Game and Fish personnel access for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife projects makes them excellent
candidates for this year’s award. Their property lies within Elk Hunt Area 2, the Fortification Herd. This is an area where elk are thriving and there are challenges with managing this herd, as much of it is private land with limited public access. Kathleen has always been open to conversations about how to improve access in this area. She has been supportive of thinking outside the box and trying things that haven’t been done. She and Sam have been instrumental in helping take a step in the direction of managing this elk herd toward numbers closer to the herd objective. In 2021 and 2022, Kathleen and Sam were important partners in the Clear Creek/Powder River fish telemetry study. The project investigated the effects of fish passage structures on fish migrations among lower Clear Creek, the Powder River and the lower Yellowstone River in Montana. They allowed fisheries biologists to construct and operate a telemetry receiver station on the river bank at their property. The station subsequently provided valuable migration data.

Kathleen and Sam have also allowed for access and temporary placement of equipment on their property for acoustic surveying of amphibians. In 2022, Game and Fish biologists placed three automated acoustic recorders on the ranch properties to record amphibian mating calls. In 2022, Game and Fish documented all four expected amphibian species on the ranch or adjacent public land. Documenting the presence of the plains spadefoot and Great Plains toad was particularly important as they are listed as Wyoming Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Data on their distribution and abundance is lacking, and through this survey, important new information was gathered – reconfirming amphibian presence in the Powder River Basin.

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