West Elk Ranch
Conserved 2013 and 2015
Owners: Dominic Dodero, Kristie Bean and Kathy Wanner
Location: Grass Valley, New Castle
The Grand Hogback stands sentinel to the south, the Flat Tops Wilderness rises to the north, and across the valley floor stretches more than 1,500 acres of conserved ranchland with prime soils, important wildlife habitat and scenic views that form one of the last unspoiled ranching strongholds in Garfield County. This is Grass Valley – a triangle of sweeping meadows and rolling hills five miles northwest of New Castle that forms the entry to three Colorado State Parks (Harvey Gap, Rifle Gap and Rifle Falls) and the Flat Tops. Four generations of the Dodo/Dodero family have ranched this land since the 1920s and two of their families have worked with AVLT to assure their ranches remain undeveloped.
In May 2015, Dominic Dodero, Kristie Bean and Kathy Wanner, working with parents Louis and Carol Dodo, conserved the final piece of the beautiful West Elk Ranch. The 795 acres of the ranch now permanently conserved include irrigated meadows, piñon-juniper hillsides, and a 1.6-mile stretch of West Elk Creek that dominate the view from Buford Road. In 2013, their cousins, brothers Scot Dodero and Mike Dodo, blazed the way for this project by completing the conservation of their adjacent 720-acre Dry Elk Valley Ranch. Great Outdoor Colorado and USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service provided funding for both, while the families also made substantial donations. A giant ‘Thank You!’ to all involved.