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WEEKLY HIGHLIGHT

JO Ranch Rural Historic Landscape, Carbon County, Wyoming

[photo] JO Ranch Rural Historic Landscape, Carbon County, WyomingThe JO Ranch Rural Historic Landscape is a rare and well-preserved example of a late 19th-early 20th century western sheep ranching operation in southwestern Carbon County, Wyoming. Established in 1885, it reflects the growth of the sheep industry in Wyoming after the devastating livestock losses suffered in the winter of 1886-1887 that crippled the cattle industry and ended the open range system of ranching. The decline of the Wyoming cattle industry allowed the fledgling sheep industry to grow, especially along the Union Pacific Railroad corridor in southern Wyoming, which provided a means for sheep to be effectively shipped to distant markets. The JO Ranch also represents traditional Spanish sheep management practices that developed in southern Wyoming rather than the English system employed in the Atlantic colonies. The site consists of a ranch complex of buildings, structures, sites, and objects constructed of locally procured materials in a simple vernacular style and the associated landscape features include a corral system with livestock chutes, irrigation ditches, abandoned farm equipment and barbed wire fences.

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