Ranch management company aims to further conservation, bridges between urban and rural worlds

Zara Saponja, leads the Joly family ...

Rachel Ellis, The Denver Post

Zara Saponja leads the Joly family of Chicago on a horseback ride in The Great Sand Dunes National Park outside Mosca on Friday, July 31, 2020. The Zapata Ranch, located about eight miles from the dunes, offers several activities to guests that connects them to the natural world, including a day riding horses and hiking in the dunes.

Along with raising cattle and bison on five ranches, Duke Phillips III and his team are raising awareness about ranching as a way of life and a way to conserve the West’s open spaces, wildlife and other natural resources.

Even during the coronavirus pandemic and a statewide drought in Colorado, Ranchlands, the management company founded by Phillips, is still running cattle, running workshops and programs and hosting visitors at the Medano-Zapata Ranch in the San Luis Valley.

Work goes on at the Chico Basin Ranch southeast of

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