Wyoming 2013 Padlock Ranch Ranchester Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

Homer and Mildred Scott started Padlock Ranch in 1943 with 300 cows and 3000 acres near Dayton. Little did they know the ranch would grow to include 11,000 head of beef cattle on 475,000 acres straddling the border of Wyoming and Montana.

The Scott family is still actively involved in management of Padlock Ranch. Homer’s eldest son, Dan Scott, who passed away in April 2013, is remembered for decades of outstanding leadership while serving as the ranch's president and CEO from 1969 to 2002. Today, the operation is led by Wayne Fahsholtz, who takes great care in managing the resources and assets of the ranch for long-term sustainability, while conserving and improving the environment.

Padlock Ranch

Padlock Ranch

Through the years, the ranch has grown with additional land purchases and leased lands on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana's Bighorn County. Three parcels have been placed in Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust easements for perpetuity. These easements protect land around and adjacent to the Tongue River on which improvements have been made by removing rip-rap and re-channelizing a two-mile reach of the river.

In addition to being a highly successful and sustainable cattle ranch raising natural beef, Padlock offers vacationing guests an opportunity to share in the authentic Western lifestyle through working ranch, hunting and fishing, and photography vacations. Visitors experience an unparalleled range of plants, animals and landscapes thanks to careful management of the land.

Good grazing practices are a hallmark of the ranch, where good grazing management is considered good water management. Grazing plans are designed to leave litter on the soil surface, helping to reduce soil temperature and maintain a higher level of moisture.

“We believe that if we can graze in a manner that protects habitat…and if the wildlife species that should be here are here, then we are doing the job we set out to do,” Wayne Fahsholtz said.

The Padlock Ranch sets a standard of stewardship by protecting and nourishing the environment, natural resources, and wildlife for generations to come.