Mexican Creek Ranch

2023 Landowner of the Year - Lander Region
Get Involved / Landowner of the Year / Mexican Creek Ranch

Landowners: Perry and Richard Cook

The Lander Region is pleased to award Perry and Richard (posthumously) Cook as the 2023 Landowner of the Year. The Cooks are Fremont County landowners who have a passion for wildlife and wildlife conservation. In 2007, the Cooks donated a conservation easement to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission on their 689-acre property along the Lander Front. These easements restrict future development, including relinquishing all future residential development rights. The combined 689-acre property along with surrounding BLM and State Trust land provides crucial wintering habitat for big game such as mule deer, elk and pronghorn. The property also supports good populations of upland bird species including chukar and Hungarian partridge.

The Cooks improve their ranch for the benefit of wildlife in innovative ways. They have worked extensively with both the terrestrial and aquatic habitat programs to maintain beaver colonies to benefit the fishery, stream health and to maintain the vigorous riparian areas on their portion of Mexican Creek. They have epitomized the “Living with Beaver” philosophy by protecting their trees, culverts and head-gates in order to allow beavers to proliferate. Perry – leading by example – has taken the strategies she has learned and passed them to neighboring, downstream landowners who have also successfully mitigated beaver
issues on their properties. Perry not only understands the benefits of beavers and the wetland habitats they create for all wildlife, but she has a deep appreciation for nongame wildlife including passerine birds,
small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The Cooks have also given Game and Fish the opportunity to relocate beavers to their property on Mexican Creek if there isn’t another pre-planned place to take them. This allows for the live trapping of problem beavers rather than landowners dispatching them. The Cooks are dedicated to sustaining quality wildlife habitat on their property. It is because of their love for wildlife and open spaces that they have collaborated with Game and Fish and others to showcase their property as a demonstration of the value of conservation and preservation. Without a doubt, they are very deserving of this award and recognition.

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