The Ruby Valley Strategic Alliance strives to maintain and enhance the stewardship of working ranches and public lands, and achieve long-term conservation goals in the Ruby Valley.
The greater Ruby landscape is valued by residents and visitors alike for its working ranches and public lands. These resources provide open space, clean water, wildlife habitat and access to wild backcountry, recreation and outdoor traditions. We consider these mountains and valleys our home and our backyard -- a place we go with family and friends to work, find outdoor adventure, solitude and wildlife.
This alliance was formed to formally recognize that keeping both working ranches and public land viable and intact achieves our long-term conservation goals. By understanding our shared values and committing to positive dialogue, together we strive to maintain and enhance the stewardship and management of the greater Ruby landscape so future generations will continue to experience the open space and wild lands so valuable to our way of life.
The Ruby watershed includes a mix of public and private lands, 39% of the watershed is privately owned while 61% is managed by state and federal agencies. We recognize our public lands and working ranches are inextricably tied, and management decisions regarding both can be strengthened through partnerships.
OUR SHARED VALUES
Maintaining our working lands
As conservationists and owners of multi-generation family ranches, we recognize that working ranches provide important wildlife habitat, clean water and open space in the Ruby Valley. Many of these operations rely on adjacent public land grazing permits, some of which date back almost a century. We’re committed to conserving these conservation benefits by minimizing the conflicts that result from sharing the landscape and ensuring a viable future for the Ruby’s ranching operations.
Maintaining and enhancing our outdoor way of life
Family ranches play an important role in public land stewardship and the conservation of open space. There are many tools we can use to preserve the outdoor traditions of the greater Ruby Valley for the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Together we can demonstrate that private lands and diverse public land uses all have a role.
Preserving our wilderness heritage and quiet country
We recognize the value in sustaining wild, untrammeled lands in the greater Ruby valley including opportunities for solitude and primitive types of recreation.
Maintaining and enhancing high-quality recreation experiences
Sportsmen and women, and outdoor enthusiasts of all types treasure the Ruby Valley. We value the human connection to the natural world and understand that there are a variety of ways we maintain this connection. We need to manage recreational resources to ensure high-quality experiences and provide diverse, balanced opportunities for future generations.
Building lasting relationships
We believe in the importance of listening to one another, understanding each other’s perspectives and values, and finding common ground. We come from different backgrounds, but together we can find long-term land-management solutions that reflect our shared values.
The RVSA has identified five areas of engagement where we can work together and find solutions that address threats imperiling working landscapes, wild public lands, our outdoor way of life, and high-quality recreation. These areas offer us a path towards sustaining our communities, our families, the land, and the wildlife of the Ruby Valley.
Land conservation and growth
As conservationists and owners of multi-generation family ranches, we recognize the importance of the area’s working lands in providing wildlife habitat and open space. We strive to maintain working lands through conservation programs, easements, and education.
Water quantity and quality
Clean, cold, and ample water is essential for maintaining fisheries, supporting the outdoor recreation economy, and providing irrigation for working lands. We are working to address threats to our water through drought planning, effective Ruby Reservoir management, riparian restoration, tributary connectivity, and streamflow measurement.
Wildlife conflict reduction
The viability of native predator populations depends on keeping working ranches and public lands intact. We are working to secure connected and sustainable populations of grizzly bears while minimizing conflict and supporting the ranching operations that keep migration corridors and valley bottoms free of development. To achieve these outcomes, we prioritize education, policy, funding, predator conflict avoidance and reduction, and depredation compensation.
Maintaining wild backcountry
We recognize the value of sustaining wilderness in the Ruby. Keeping wild public lands intact protects headwater tributaries, ensures clean water, provides space for wildlife, allows for continued grazing, and offers opportunities to find solitude and enjoy quiet recreation. We are working to develop designations for public lands that will provide protection and certainty for these wild public lands.
U.S. Forest Service policy and advocacy
U.S. Forest Service policy and advocacy Grazing allotments and public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service are key to the viability of working ranches. Those lands also support and sustain wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and water quality. We are dedicated to developing and advocating for long-term solutions that allow for flexible and adaptive land management, that improve communication between Forest Service staff and the public, and develop partnerships that improve stewardship and management outcomes.