The Santa Maria Ranch is bisected by the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. The ranch also contains substantial wetlands and riparian habitat supporting globally rare plant species. Designated as a National Historic District, the ranch is bordered up and downstream by the Tomahawk and Badger Basin State Wildlife Areas. The historic 1874 ranch house is currently being restored for use as a cancer survivor’s retreat.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife has reported that this section of the Middle Fork contains “more trout biomass per mile of stream than any other river in Colorado,” as well as abundant game species and a variety of migratory waterfowl. The ranch is now available for public fly-fishing, by reservation only, at http://www.southparktrout.com/santa_maria.html.
Funding for the 2,560-acre conservation easment was provided by Ames Construction, Inc., the Colorado Division of Wildlife, The Hillsdale Fund, Inc., Great Outdoors Colorado, the National Fish & Wildlife Federation, and the Park County Land & Water Trust Fund.