DU partners with Laramie on Monolith Ranch

The Monolith Ranch was acquired by the City of Laramie in the early 1980s as a long-term investment to secure additional water. The 11,788-acre ranch is south of Laramie and contains a 2,000-acre parcel known as the Monolith Ranch Meadows, composed of irrigated meadows and pasture. In 2016, the Monolith Ranch Advisory Committee asked Ducks Unlimited to assist them with a restoration project on the Monolith Ranch Meadows that focused on repairing the dilapidated Goforth Reservoir Dam.

During the past three years, DU and the City of Laramie collaborated on project planning while building a partnership to help fund the restoration work. Ducks Unlimited and partners plan to build five earthen banks on the Goode Meadow, a section of the Monolith Ranch Meadows, that will be managed as seasonal shallow water wetlands. Repairs and upgrades to the Goforth Dam will also improve water management on the property.

"The improved water management of the meadows will support important food resources, such as seeds and aquatic invertebrates, for migratory birds," said Tom Peterson, Ducks Unlimited biologist in Wyoming.

The Monolith Ranch Meadows partnership includes the City of Laramie, Laramie Rivers Conservation District, North American Wetland Conservation Act, The Nature Conservancy, Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners Program, WGFD, Wyoming Wildlife Foundation and Ducks Unlimited.

"This is an important project for the community, and it would not be possible without such a diverse partnership," said Martin Grenier, manager of conservation programs for Wyoming.

The Monolith Ranch Meadows project is scheduled to be completed in early summer. Improvements will enhance more than 600 acres of wet meadow and restore the Goforth Reservoir providing approximately 18 acres of semi-permanent wetlands.