RICHLAND, Wash. – A sprawling, historic ranch in southeast Washington goes up for sale Friday. Conservationists and the state of Washington are hoping to keep the 14,000 acre property out of the hands of developers.
The McWhorter Ranch sits adjacent to the Hanford Reach National Monument. It's home to rare plants, ferruginous hawks and herds of deer and elk.
Jeff Tayer is with Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife. He says the state and conservationists have been trying to buy the ranch from the McWhorter family for awhile now.
“We worked with the Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Benton County extensively over a two to three year period to raise the funds to purchase the ranch," Tayer says. "But in the end Dick McWhorter loved that property too much to leave.”
The groups have raised $2.8 million to buy the ranch. Dick McWhorter died in 2007. His family settled in the area in 1903.
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