Donation expands Bluff Preserve

Inspired by the successful acquisition of the 320-acre Cottonwood Wash property last July, a private landowner conserving an adjacent 95-acre parcel with The Wildlands Conservancy.
“I’m delighted to be working with The Wildlands Conservancy, whose vision for permanent protection and commitment to Indigenous interests is deeply aligned with my own,” says Jenepher Stowell, the private landowner.
“I’m also very grateful to the exceptional team at Wildlands who are facilitating an ideal outcome for this beloved property, and for me, a 30-year dream come true.”
Stowell donated her 95-acre property to be part of The Wildlands Conservancy preserve at a significantly discounted price. This brings the preserve to a total of 415 acres, which now reaches from one canyon wall to the other, increasing the protection for the canyon and the surrounding landscape.
“Our goals for this treasured place include guaranteeing Indigenous and public access, protecting and restoring riparian wildlife habitat, and providing educational and passive recreational opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life,” says Dave Herrero, Four Corners regional director for The Wildlands Conservancy.
From the time The Wildlands Conservancy started working on the Cottonwood Wash acquisition in early 2022, the Town of Bluff and its residents were fundamentally important to the success of the project. In fact, it was community members that pulled the Conservancy into the project and supported fundraising efforts throughout the campaign.
“The word that comes to mind is gratitude,” said Liza Doran, owner of the historic Cow Canyon Trading Post in Bluff, “So much is changing, and many of these pieces of the cultural landscape are threatened. I’m grateful The Wildlands Conservancy took this important step to protect some of the natural and cultural wonders that define this place.”
Also important to the Conservancy’s continued success in the region are the funders who made the initial acquisition possible, including support from Kisco Conservation Fund, Earthwalker Fund, Alnoba Lewis Family Foundation, David Kelby Johnson Memorial Foundation, the Conservation Alliance, Grand Canyon Trust, and longtime partner the Center for Biological Diversity.
“We’re thrilled to support this important conservation and cultural protection project,” said Peter Galvin, director of programs and co-founder of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The preserve, one of 25 in The Wildlands Conservancy’s portfolio, is open daily from dusk to dawn. Access is free, as the Conservancy believes that to have to pay to access nature is to be dispossessed of your birthright.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday