Cattle Grazing Lease

Leasing is a valuable strategy for ranchers to gain access to land and it allows the landowner a property tax AG exemption saving those participating roughly $1000 per year.  Grazing cattle is good for our land as it keeps the noxious weeds to a minimum and it reduces fire hazard by keeping the grass trimmed. 

A cattle grazing lease is an agreement giving use of private land to a rancher for a specific period of time at a specified rate.  On behalf of our association, the Board has signed a new seven (7) year lease with long-time rancher, Jarod Mower.  Mr. Mower has been involved with running cattle on the ranch since the beginning of our development in 2003.  He has been ranching full time on GRR for the last nine years.

To help supplement the Association for providing water to the cows, our rancher has agreed to raise the AUM (animal unit month) from $10 to $14 and single animal unit from $6 to $10. Our rancher has also agreed to provide all the materials and labor for the water supply systems and maintain such at no cost to the Association. In addition, he will fit the water tanks so the fire department can use the water in the event of a fire on the ranch.  Our rancher manages and cares for the cattle and provides the salt and minerals consumed.  He pays for the labor and materials to maintain the existing fencing on the perimeter of Ghost River Ranch. 
The Fence Law, or Open Range Law, in Colorado addresses key items like defining what a lawful fence is, who is responsible for construction and maintenance of lawful fence and who can claim damages for trespass.  Refer to the Colorado Statute #35-46-101 when building, maintaining, repairing and replacing any fences.  A “Lawful Fence” is a well-constructed three barbed wire fence with substantial posts set at a distance of approximately twenty feet apart, and sufficient enough to turn ordinary cattle, with all gates equally as good as the fence.  In Colorado, it is the responsibility of the landowner to fence out any livestock from their property with a “Lawful Fence.”  Livestock owners are not liable for animals that wonder on to property that a “Lawful Fence” is not maintained.  

Colorado Department of Agriculture 
Open Range and Fencing Statute

Key Elements

  • If owners want to keep livestock off their property, they must fence the livestock out.  
  • The statute defines a "lawful fence" as a well-constructed three barbed wire fence with substantial posts set at a distance of approximately twenty feet apart, and sufficient to turn ordinary cattle, with all gates equally as good as the fence, or any other fence of life efficiency.
  • The fence must be properly maintained and gates kept closed.
  • Colorado fence laws favor the livestock owner and put the duty of protecting property on the landowner.
  • It is recommended that landowners should obtain a full updated copy of the statutes at www.colorado.gov/ag before taking any action in regards to fencing laws.
  • The livestock owner on Ghost River Ranch is Jarod Mower at (719) 252-2572.

Get Paid to Provide Water for the Cows
GRR is currently looking to provide additional water sources to facilitate the contract and to utilize the grazing opportunity on more acres of the ranch. GRR would pay $250.00 to property owners who may be willing to participate in providing water on their property. The grazing contract owner would provide all equipment, materials and labor to establish the water source from an existing well. Property owners who participate could also utilize the water source for their own livestock.

The local Natural Resource Conservative Service (NRCS) also has a cost share program that is offered
to property owners who may be willing to drill a new well on their property for cattle water. The contract would be between the interested property owner and the NRCS, not GRR. If anyone is interested in participating in providing additional water sources for grazing cattle or has questions, please contact one of the board members for additional information.

AG Exemption Power Of Attorney
If you have NOT filed the Agricultural Tax Exemption Power of Attorney with Huerfano County Tax Assessor, you should do so immediately.

If you do not have a form on file with the County, you will lose the Ag exemption and your property taxes will increase significantly.

Once lost, it takes a minimum of 3 years to

re-establish the Ag exemption on your parcel(s).

The Grazing Lease Authorization form is available below and should be mailed to:  

Bruce Quintana

Huerfano County Assessor's Office

401 Main St., Ste 205
  Walsenburg, CO  81089

​​Ghost River Ranch 

Property Owners' Association