Maxine (Trull) Turner’s ranch has been in her family since 1892 and now, the 747-acres is in a conservation easement held by Yampa Valley Land Trust. Turner stated she conserved her land in order “to preserve the land as God made it.”
Maxine Turner is a fourth generation native of Routt County and great-granddaughter to John Trull, whose brother was the original homesteader of the town of Trull, located at the base of Elk Mountain (a/k/a Sleeping Giant). The town of Trull consisted of a boarding house, saloon, store, and post office and served as a stage stop between Steamboat and Hayden. Turner’s grandfather ran the Trull post office and her grandmother was the telephone operator.
The Trull Ranch is located northeast of Milner, Colorado just north of the Yampa River and west of the Elk River. In 1892, Turner’s great-uncle purchased the Trull Ranch, where Turner’s mother, along with all of her siblings, was born. The property consists of open meadows and rolling hillsides, a portion of which is located within the De Cora Gulch. The irrigated and sub-irrigated meadows have been used for agricultural purposes for over one hundred years. Trull Ranch still contains some of the original ranch structures including the horse barn, brooder house, hog house and cow barn.
The high mesa on the Trull Ranch can be viewed from US Highway 40 traveling from Milner, Colorado to Steamboat Springs near the confluence of the Elk River and the Yampa River. The Trull Ranch conservation easement is near already conserved properties in the area including the Neale property, which is located on the Yampa River and is in conservation easement with Yampa Valley Land Trust. The Trull Ranch conservation easement, along with other conserved lands in the area, provides a variety of habitat for wildlife, which include: elk, deer, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, greater sage grouse, red-tailed hawk, sandhill cranes, yellow-headed blackbird and black bear.
A bargain-sale purchase of the Trull Ranch conservation easement was made possible through the Routt County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) funds, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund, supporters of Yampa Valley Land Trust and Maxine Turner’s generous donation of part of the value of the conservation easement. “Yampa Valley Land Trust has had the unique opportunity to work with an incredible number of pioneering and homesteading families from the area. I continue to be honored to work with landowners like Maxine who are the living treasures of Routt County and Northwest Colorado. They bring to the table the amazing histories that shaped this area from when it was originally settled” remarked Susan Dorsey, Executive Director of Yampa Valley Land Trust.