The Steel Bridge Ranch encompasses 2200+/- deeded acres with a 355 head BLM Lease. Irrigation is provided from 5 Pivots, hand-line and flood irrigation. Improvements consist of 4 homes plus two equipment barns. The Ranch irrigates nearly 700 +/- acres with water provided from the Red Rock River. The balance of the acreage is river bottom and native range. The ranch is owner rated at a capacity of 250 cows year around. Recreational amenities include fishing the 2+ miles of river and unlimited big game hunting for primarily elk and whitetail deer during the general season. The Steel Bridge Ranch is an excellent stand-alone operation or addition to a larger outfit.
The Steel Bridge Ranch is located in southwestern Montana in the Red Rock River Valley, just west of the town of Lima (population 227). The ranch is accessed year-round by Interstate 15 and a paved two-lane local highway. Dillon (population 4,200) is 50 miles to the northwest. Idaho Falls is 100 miles to the south of the ranch on Interstate 15 and provides a commercial airport, as does Butte, 110 miles to the north on I-15. The Idaho border is approximately 15 miles south of the ranch and Yellowstone National Park is 100 miles to the east. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is about a 2½ hour drive to the southeast.
Historical use of the ranch has been as a working cattle ranch. Currently, the cattle calve in the bottoms where they are offered the protection of the willows and cottonwoods before being moved to the native range on the east end of the property. They are allowed to graze the regrowth of the pivots before wintering on the BLM during the respective dates. The current owner has improved several troughs on the property including the BLM to make stock-water a worry free component. Fences are in solid condition with many upgrades made to the irrigation systems as well. Consideration to using the ranch as a summer grazing unit could carry a capacity of nearly 500 pairs for the summer as rated by the owner. Currently, the pivots are planted in irrigated pasture, barley and a test plot of oats/Italian rye.
The ranch has 4 homes for owners including a main residence with 2000 +/- sf with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. All of the homes have had recent updates and are livable for both owners and managers alike.
There are currently 5 pivots with infrastructure in for 6. The pivots and mainlines have received extensive attention as of late and are operational and ready to go. The ranch also utilizes hand-line as well as flood irrigation as well.
Irrigation water is provided via the Red Rock River with shares in the Lima Reservoir irrigation company and enjoys a low diversion. There are 5 wells on the ranch that provide domestic/stock water.
Water Right Numbers:
The Water Adjudication Bureau assists the Montana Water Court in the adjudication of all claims to pre-July 1, 1973 water rights. The Bureau examines all claims pursuant to Supreme Court rules and provides a summary report to the Water Court on each of the basins (85) in the state. Pursuant to legislation passed in 2005 the Bureau must complete the examination of the remaining claims 57,000 claims (as of 2005) by June 30, 2015. The Bureau must provide summary reports to the Water Court for the remaining 30 basins (as of 2005) by June of 2020. The Bureau is required to report progress quarterly to the Environmental Quality Council (EQC). The Bureau also provides post decree assistance to the Water Court as requested and to district courts as Water Court decrees are placed under enforcement (upon petition to the district court)
The annual average of rainfall is 10.95 inches. This is predominately from winter snowpack which allows for lush spring and summer pasture along with ample irrigation reserves. The area on average receives 51.7 inches of snowfall annually. The cool climate allows for nice summer days and cool evenings. The average high temperature in July is 81degrees. The average low in January is 6 degrees. The property is located at 6270 ft. The ranch sees an average of 177 sunny days annually.
The ranch sells with 75 Shares in the Snowline Grazing Association. Each Share represents 1 pair for 4 months from approximately June through the middle of October. The BLM Lease adjacent to the deeded property currently allows for 355 Cattle from 11-10-1-19. The season of this grazing permit keeps this lease in excellent shape with little sagebrush and an improved tank system.
The ranch is located in Montana Hunting District 325. Elk and Deer tags are available to both resident and non-resident hunters alike. Elk, Deer and Moose can be viewed frequently on the subject property. The waterfowl hunter will take interest as the properties riparian area and croplands are situated to provide the perfect setup for a field shoot. Combine this structure with the fact that the ranch is in the pacific flyway and you have the recipe for incredible waterfowl hunting. The ranch is proximal and adjacent to thousands of acres of public lands that provide limitless opportunity for recreationists of all types.
The Steel Bridge ranch enjoys over 2 miles of frontage on the Red Rock River and is within an hour of numerous Blue Ribbon Rivers as well as countless mountain lakes and streams. When flows are adequate the Red Rock River can produce some impressive Brown and Rainbow Trout. The ranch also has 3 ponds that would lend themselves as fisheries with the right amount of improvement and proper permitting.
Annual property taxes are estimated to be $6583.66
Unique opportunity to own a balanced offering with a unique combination of irrigated farm-land, native range and frontage on one of Montana’s premier rivers.