Davison Ranch honored as conservationist of the year
The Middle Park Conservation District joined with the Middle Park Stock Growers to honor Mark Davison with the “Conservationist of the Year Award,” on March 3 at the District’s annual dinner.
Davison and his mom, Laurayne, own and operate the ranch located in the Muddy Creek valley, northwest of Kremmling. Mark’s father, Charles Edward Davison, Jr., better known as “Tommy,” came to the area from Golden, Colo., and bought the property in 1957. The property was purchased from Horace Dietrich and is one of the oldest ranching properties along Muddy Creek.
In 1958, he married Laurayne, who was born and raised in Kremmling. They raised cattle in the beginning, as well as horses. Horses were and still are a very large part of the ranch operations. They have raised both saddles horses and Percheron draft horses. Those draft horses are still used today to pull a sled or wagon to feed the cattle every day.
In 1967, the Davidsons added sheep to their livestock. Tommy used to say they “raised horses for fun, cattle for prestige and sheep to pay the bills.” However, they stopped raising sheep in 1996. They had a hired hand from 1960 to 2005 named Jerry Nauta, a man who was dedicated to the ranch.
Tommy died in 2001 and Jerry died in 2005.
The Davisons have done many projects throughout the years to increase the production of their ranch. These projects include streambank enhancements, brush control, weed control, riparian fencing, pasture and cross-fencing, pond construction and ditch work. They got into serious weed control in the 1970s, with their work to control white top, both on the range and in their hay meadows. Headgates on ditches have been repaired, new ditches dug and existing ditches cleaned out. Springs were developed and lots of fencing has been constructed for the purpose of better grazing and livestock management. The ponds were built in 2005, the pipeline was built in 2007, and some gated pipe was installed in 2009.
The Conservation District is always proud to acknowledge the efforts of landowners who conserve the natural resources on their property, while at the same time increasing productivity.
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Backcountry permits for the Indian Peaks Wilderness will go on sale online on later this month, according to the US Forest Service.