Middle Park Land Trust gives stewardship award to Murphy family | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park Land Trust gives stewardship award to Murphy family

Middle Park Land Trust has given John and Carolyn Murphy of Granby its 2009 Land Steward of the Year Award.

John Murphy’s parents bought what is now the Granby Murphy Ranch on Oct. 9, 1909, from Leopold Mueller, whose LM Bar brand (LM) is still in use on the ranch today. He was born 94 years ago in the old ranch house, which is still standing on the original property.

The Murphy Ranch represents the continuation of over a century of ranching history in Grand County, surviving often difficult odds.

In the early years the ranch was a dairy cow operation, and also raised lettuce and spinach. They later raised Hereford cattle to meet changing economic realities.

John Murphy tells of ranching life prior to electricity and telephones, horseback rides to school in Granby, and long, hard trips over Berthoud Pass to Georgetown twice a year for groceries.

Today, in its 100th year of operation, the Murphy Ranch is still maintained as a livestock and haying entity. Cattle are pastured in the summer, and horses and cattle are fed on the ranch in the winter. John and Carolyn Murphy continue to live on the property.

Each year the Middle Park Land Trust recognizes Grand County landowners who demonstrate good land management and conservation practices. Trust officials congratulated the Murphy’s for their sound principles of ranch management. They also work in cooperation with the Division of Wildlife to protect an active sage grouse lek on the property.