HYRUM -- A Cache Valley family has entered into a conservation easement with the state to protect more than 5,000 acres of ranch land near Hyrum.
Jon White and his family voluntarily agreed to the perpetual easement with the Utah Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
The Herald Journal of Logan reports the arrangement ensures public access for fishing along the Blacksmith Fork River while preserving the land indefinitely as a working ranch.
White says development was springing up around him and he wanted to ensure that the ranch land in the mouth of Blacksmith Fork Canyon didn't have any houses on it.
The Green Canyon Ranch area is winter range for mule deer and elk and provides year-round habitat for the Columbia sharp-tailed grouse, a state sensitive species.
The river also provides habitat for Bonneville cutthroat trout, a state sensitive species.