Archaeological investigations have documented that the San Luis Valley was utilized by various Native American cultures for thousands of years. The earliest time period, the Paleo-Indian stage (approximately 11,500 B.P. to 7,800 B.P.), was characterized by highly mobile, specialized big-game hunters whose sites are sometimes associated with the remains of extinct megafauna such as mammoth, bison, camel, and ground sloths.
A lone hunter weaves his way through the sagebrush islands pockmarking the sand of the San Luis Valley. He left at daybreak, just as he has on countless autumn mornings before this. His breath, suspended and frozen in the air, reflects the color of the fiery sunrise barely eclipsing the peaks of the Sangre De Cristos before him and wraps him in an ethereal halo against a background of blue shadows.
For six years, Nick Chambers, aka Chef Funghi, has managed Valley Roots Food Hub, a distributor of locally grown produce located in Mosca, Colorado. Besides supplying truly local produce to consumers across Southern Colorado, Nick’s operation supplies the majority of produce featured on Chef Chase Kelly’s menu at Ranchlands’ Zapata Ranch.
Wildlife biologist Wes Larson, also known as Griz Kid for his frequent work with bears, spent some time at the Zapata tracking down and photographing a few of the ranch’s most iconic wildlife species.
The Nature Conservancy’s Chris Pague sat down with us at Bison Works 2018 to discuss the history of the Medano-Zapata herd, bison ecology, and the prospects for a future of wild bison.
Over the course of the summer of 2017, I tried to grapple with understanding the meaning of the ranching heritage of the West, and, given the history of irresponsible and destructive ranching practices on western rangelands, the unique ways that ambitious biodiversity conservation is able to coexist with for-profit livestock production at a large scale at Zapata.”
The soil tells a story, and if you read it carefully, your signature on the land becomes clear.
Our Ranchlands intern, Brandon Sickel, had the opportunity to join the national park service last week as they worked to relocate hundreds of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout.
Snow capped mountain peaks and woolly bison. Capture fall at Zapata Ranch during a workshop with photographer Stephen Weaver.
Meet the young women who are calling the Zapata home for the 2017 season.