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Elk Creek Ranch develops best management practices for river health

"We care greatly about the river, and the entire valley. We feel like we're good stewards of it," said Brett Harvey, manager of Elk Creek Ranch (ECR) last week when discussing the health of the White River, and the persistent algae blooms of the last seven years. Having grown up in Meeker, and spending multiple decades as a dedicated angler, Harvey wanted to share his own perspective on the health of the river, along with more information about habitat enhancement work ECR has performed over the past 10 or so years.

"We're good on summer habitat. We lack in overwintering deep water areas," he said when discussing some of the reasoning behind the pool, riffle and tail-out structures built on the upper White river, the most recent of which were constructed in 2020.

Harvey explained that similar projects have been occurring in the White River and other rivers in an effort to improve fish habitat, though he noted that construction methods have been updated and refined over time. For example, the Elk Creek Ranch once had a total of 80 "cross-stream log structures" meant to impound water and create depth for fish to live in.

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Bigger Is Better!

It's likely that these types of outdoor enthusiasts also fantasize about buying a ranch, a place to gather with kids and grandkids and pursue the sporting life in a wild setting that's all their own. But when thoughts about the time and energy it would take to maintain such a place creep in, the dream often bursts.

For those who happened upon Elk Creek Ranch and own one of the 67 memberships, a happy medium was found. Tucked away in the White River Valley of Northwest Colorado, this membership-based ranch club was built for these types of outdoor enthusiasts and features private fishing waters and unspoiled habitat within one of the largest elk migration corridors in the country. With the opportunity to build their own custom mountain homes on deeded lots, membership also grants them access to top-notch guides, cuisine, and deluxe amenities in a grand rustic-yet-elegant lodge.

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Elk Creek Ranch Completes Land Acquisition, Quintuples Footprint & Keeps Ownership Limited

Meeker, CO (June 29, 2021) - Elk Creek Ranch, a one-of-a-kind private sporting community situated along the banks of the esteemed White River, has now completed its acquisition of the neighboring 7 Lakes Ranch previously owned by golf legend Greg Norman. With 33.7 total miles of private, blue-ribbon fly-fishing along the White River and Elk Creek, world-class big game hunting in an expansive and unspoiled natural habitat, along with luxurious amenities, the new acquisition will increase the total size of the ranch to include access to 25,000 acres to fish, hunt and recreate. Through the acquisition, Elk Creek Ranch has added an equestrian center, 18-hole shooting clay course, historical barn and event venue, additional guest lodging, and more than 40 miles of private trails for biking, hiking, and snowmobiling in the winter.
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The real winners in golf legend Greg Norman's massive ranch sale

Now that the dust has settled, or rather the sand traps re-combed, on the news that Greg Norman's 12,000 acre, Seven Lakes Ranch just outside Meeker has been sold for $40 million, one has to wonder: Now what? What will the new owner(s) do, if anything? And who cares, really? It's just another big ranch and private sale, right? Maybe. Maybe not. As a self-described student of Western lands, I'd like to take a swing at it. Generally speaking, when a private landholder holds that much acreage, it's only for a few reasons. One, to put into production. Think ranching or farming or possibly some kind of factory. Two, they lock it up for private use, basking in the massive space, peace and serenity. And let's be honest, some require (or have earned) that kind of privacy and distance. I think Norman fits this category. The third, less common reason, is for long-term land preservation and conservation. But ironically, Norman's not the real winner here in this sale. It's the new owners he sold it to, and the brilliant minds behind Elk Creek Ranch (ECR). Here's why.
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Seven Lakes and Piedra Valley ranches come under new ownership

The Seven Lakes Ranch east of Meeker and the Piedra Valley Ranch north of Pagosa Springs, two of the largest landholdings available for sale in Colorado this year, have traded hands. Greg Norman, an Australian entrepreneur and a top-ranking professional golfer in the 80s and early 90s, sold the Seven Lakes Ranch to JK Land Holdings LLC, which is owned by Chuck Kuhn and his family. Kuhn made his fortune as founder and owner of JK Moving Services, the country's largest independently owned and operated moving company. He has amassed significant landholdings in Loudon County, Va., where he is known for his land conservation efforts. The Kuhn family will retain the 14,000-square-foot Seven Lakes Lodge and about 220 acres of nearby land for family use. The bulk of the nearly 11,900-acre spread, about a 20-minute drive from Meeker, was purchased on Tuesday afternoon by Elk Creek Ranch, a private sporting community where the Kuhns are members.
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Kuhn buys Seven Lakes, plans conservation

RBC | JK Land Holdings, LLC (JKLH) has purchased famed golfer and entrepreneur Greg Norman's Seven Lakes Ranch, a nearly 12,000-acre property on the White River in Meeker, Colorado. In keeping with Norman's stewardship, the entire property-which encompasses a diversity of terrain and vegetation and shares 15 miles of boundary with state and federal lands-will be placed into conservation easement. The Kuhn family will retain the Seven Lakes lodge and surrounding acreage and then a majority of the remaining acreage will be acquired by neighboring Elk Creek Ranch, a one-of-a-kind private sporting community dedicated to conscientious stewardship of the land that it owns and manages-of which the Kuhns are a member.
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JKLH Buys Greg Norman's 12K Acre Colorado Ranch to Conserve

STERLING, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JK Land Holdings, LLC (JKLH) has purchased famed golfer and entrepreneur Greg Norman's Seven Lakes Ranch, a nearly 12,000-acre property on the scenic White River in Meeker, Colorado. In keeping with Norman's stewardship, the entire property-which encompasses a diversity of terrain and vegetation and shares 15 miles of boundary with state and federal lands-will be placed into conservation easement. The Kuhn family will retain the Seven Lakes lodge and surrounding acreage and then a majority of the remaining acreage will be acquired by neighboring Elk Creek Ranch, a one-of-a-kind private sporting community dedicated to conscientious stewardship of the land that it owns and manages-of which the Kuhns are a member.
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