WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Dec. 15, the Navajo Nation became the official owners of Boyer Ranch, which is adjacent to Wolf Springs Ranch located in Westcliffe, Colorado. The purchase expands Diné presence in the region near Tsisnaasjini’, the Navajo sacred mountain also known as Blanca Peak.
“It is a blessing for the Navajo Nation to once again have land in the state of Colorado,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. “When land was being designated by the federal government they refused to include Colorado as part of Navajo. We now own more of our ancestral land with the purchase of Boyer Ranch. It is a beautiful place surrounded by mountain ranges in the shadows of Tsisnaasjini’.”
Begaye also spoke about the economic opportunities of the land to increase the Navajo beef operations.
“This is a place where we can develop the Navajo Beef program and eventually provide more opportunities for our ranchers,” he said. “There is a good market for quality beef in restaurants and grocery stores and Navajo can meet that demand.”
Boyer Ranch is approximately 12,505 acres. With the purchase, combined with Wolf Springs, the Navajo Nation now owns about 28,855 acres in the region that can be used in a number of ways, including grazing cattle and bison. The purchase of Wolf Springs Ranch included roughly 400 head of cattle and over 900 head of bison.
The ranch has early priority water rights. There is also a gravel pit located on the property. The materials from the pit could be used to develop infrastructure for the Navajo Nation.
Vice President Jonathan Nez sees the potential to one day develop an athletic program that takes advantage of the high-altitude.
“We have some remarkable athletes on the Navajo Nation and this would be a great opportunity to train our youth and celebrate health and wellness,” Nez said. “The land there is beautiful and it is not just for us but also for future generations.”
Like Wolf Springs Ranch, which was purchased by the Nation last year in October, Boyer Ranch was purchased with the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. The Boyer Ranch legislation was also sponsored by Delegate Dwight Witherspoon (Black Mesa, Forest Lake, Hard Rock, Pinon, Whippoorwill) and co-sponsored by Delegate Steven Begay (Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs, Naschitti, Tohatchi, Bahastl’a’a’).
The Office of the President and Vice President is thankful to the 23rd Navajo Nation Council, and especially to Witherspoon and Begay, for supporting initiatives to regain land in Colorado.
“We are really privileged to be able to find this land and then to buy it,”
Begaye said. “It’s a beautiful part of Colorado and we view the purchase as a blessing for the Navajo Nation.”