Cherokee Ranch Conservation Easement

Douglas County has completed the purchase of a conservation easement on this ranch over a ten-year period to protect the important wildlife habitat, agricultural heritage and the historic attributes of the Cherokee Ranch. The 3,105-acre ranch is strategically located south of the 7,000-acre Backcountry Wilderness Area of Highlands Ranch and southwest of Daniels Park.

Mrs. Tweet Kimball bought the castle and ranch in 1954 and began raising Santa Gertrudis cattle. Prior to her death Mrs. Kimball created the Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation, which has taken over ownership and management of the property. The land is currently being managed to accommodate both the needs of wildlife and a historic cattle operation, as well as events at the castle. The ranch is covered with grasslands, mesas, rolling shrublands, and ponderosa pines, junipers, and Douglas firs. A wide variety of landforms provide excellent habitat for wildlife species including deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, and fox. An extensive bluebird house program has greatly increased habitat for bluebirds.

Organized tours of the ranch and castle and special events may be scheduled through the Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation, 303.688.5555. The ranch is privately owned and permission from the Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation is required to enter.

Year protected: 2005 (ten-year phased purchase of a conservation easement beginning in 1996)
Acres: 3,105
Land Category: Agricultural Open Space/Wildlife Preserve
Conservation Tool: Purchase of a Conservation Easement by Douglas County
Cost: $2,000,000 (Douglas County)
Partners: Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation with Douglas County as the Conservation Easement holder
Location: North of U.S. 85 and west of Daniels Park Road