The historic Pitchfork Ranch in Wyoming, spanning roughly 100,000 acres, has been listed for sale for the first time in the 21st century. The asking price: $67 million.
“It’s rare to see a contiguous piece of land this large, with this much history, on the market,” noted the manager and listing agent Ben Anson. This will be only the third time the ranch has changed hands since it was founded in 1878.
The Pitchfork Ranch was established in Northwestern Wyoming in the valley of the Greybull River by Otto Franc von Lichtenstein. Despite being 12 years older than the state itself, it has remained a working cattle ranch throughout its history.
After Franc’s accidental self-inflicted death in 1903, where he shot himself with his shotgun while climbing through a barbed wire fence, LG Phelps purchased the ranch from Franc’s estate.
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Photographer Charles Belden took up residence at the ranch, earning a name from the snapshots he took on the Pitchfork, showcasing the stories and hardships of Wyoming ranch life. Today, Belden’s darkroom is still housed in one of the eight ranch homes.
The Pitchfork remained in the Phelps and Belden family for 95 years, growing to encompass seven ranches and 250,000 acres, running Hereford cattle and Rambouillet sheep at its height in the mid-1900s.
The Baker family now owns the ranch that has become known for its conservation efforts. Currently, there are 96,115 total acres, including 13,886 deeded acres dispersed among state and BLM-leased acreage. The ranch is being sold as a 1,300-head turnkey operation with hay enterprises, including feed and equipment.
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“Although the way of life and work on the ranch will ultimately be determined by whoever purchases it, the hope is that the same principles of conservation and the legacy of the ranch will be upheld,” the Pitchfork Ranch posted to Facebook. “For those that are worried about the ranch being subdivided, the ranch is well protected in conservation easements.”
Just under eight miles of the Greybull River is located within the Pitchfork with abundant wildlife: Yellowstone cutthroat trout, black-footed ferret, wolves, grizzly bear, mule deer, moose, whitetail deer, and grouse.