Leopold Conservation Award Program - Wyoming 2012

Wyoming 2012 Sommers Ranch Pinedale, WY Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

The Sommers family has been ranching cattle in Sublette County, Wyoming since 1907 when Albert “Prof” Sommers and his brother, Pearl, established the ranch.

Today, third generation ranchers Albert and his sister, Jonita, manage the operation. Sommers Ranch consists of 1,000 acres of rangeland, 200 acres of irrigated pasture, 30 acres of wetland, and 827 acres of hayland.

Sommers Ranch

Albert and Jonita’s concern about a continuation of their family’s conservation legacy led them to enroll their land into a perpetual conservation easement, including 1,700 acres along the Green River, in 2010. This created a 19,000-acre easement, which was the largest private land easement in Wyoming at the time. Monitoring is a large component of the Sommers’ land management strategy, helping them make decisions to improve the rangeland and cattle distribution. Albert volunteers his time to lead a cooperative range-monitoring program through the Upper Green River Cattle Association, which he has extended to encompass the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and private land he grazes. Albert is now the driving force behind the monitoring of over 190,000 acres, equaling 6% of Sublette County.

Albert and Jonita believe strongly in outreach to the agricultural community and beyond. Jonita is highly involved in the Sublette County community and Albert is involved in several agricultural organizations, including the “Catch a Calf Program,” where ranchers are paired with young people to educate them about agriculture.

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