Walk with us through the 483.9-hectare Big Ranch property, through the open grasslands with purple lupines vibrant against the green fields. The vista is dotted by forests of broadleaf deciduous black cottonwood and evergreen spruce trees.

Sparkling in the sunlight is Elk River, teeming Westlope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and bull trout.

A big grizzly bear is visible on the hills in the distance, raptors circling overhead. A Red-listed American badger is digging in the ground for rodent prey.

You can imagine the landscape lightly dusted in snow, with a herd of Rocky Mountain Elk meandering across this important ungulate range.

“…Big Ranch will continue to be restored ensuring the Valley will always have an area of unsurpassed beauty, untouched nature as well as be a crucial and important conservation property.”

  • Jenna Jensen


  • Between 1990 and 2003, the Nature Trust of BC acquired the 483.9-hectare property of Big Ranch to conserve critical winter and spring elk habitat in East Kootenay.
  • Big Ranch is utilized by many wildlife species ranging from raptors to the Red-listed American badger and including black bears, cougars, moose and grizzly bears.
  • Rocky Mountain elk are the most abundant ungulates using the property and vary between 200-700 animals with an increasing population.