Nancy and Gene Hoffman wanted to keep their ranch located along the Salt River in the Star Valley area undeveloped. In 2004, The Hoffman Ranch was placed into a conservation easement with the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust.
The ranch is located directly on the Salt River with excellent trout fishing and has a creek running through the pastures into the river. The conservation easement dictated that the property remain totally rural for the use of farming, ranching, hunting, and fishing with only existing improvements.
“Development was becoming a priority in the valley, and it was our determination to keep at least our 67 acres undeveloped.” Nancy said. “We valued the special qualities of the property with water rights from Idaho, the Salt River, pasture, and a small creek, not to mention the wonderful viewshed and quiet beauty.”
When a portion of the Hoffman Ranch went up for sale, Jeff and Jenny Moore were attracted to the property and the conservation easement that preserved wildlife habitat and open spaces.
The Moore family purchased their portion of the ranch in 2013, renaming it the 4J Ranch since all the family members’ names start with the letter ‘J.’ The family enjoys seeing their horses in the pasture, along with waterfowl, eagles, deer, fox, coyotes and beaver along the creek and river. They have also seen moose, elk and even a few wolves along the road or nearby.
“We want this wildlife and ranching habitat to be preserved so that our children, grandchildren and others can also experience this for future generations,” said Jeff and Jenny.
In addition to the agricultural and wildlife values, the 67 acres have a rich history surrounding Native Americans. The Salt River and Star Valley served the Bannock and Shoshoni Tribal Members as a place to trade goods and rest. The Tincup and Jackknife creeks are offshoots of the Salt River, both of which were often used as travel routes by the Tribes, making it possible that their resting place was where the 4J Ranch and Hoffman Ranch sit today.