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Kinzua Ranch

Fossil, Oregon | County: Wheeler | 32000 Acres

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Property Information

Kinzua Ranch, a reputation timberland ranch runs across 32,000± contiguous, deeded acres and is highly regarded for its privacy, careful timber management, extensive grazing resources, abundant water and diverse wildlife populations, which include elk, deer, bear, blue and ruffed grouse, waterfowl, quail​, and hundreds of wild turkeys. ​Seeing groups of 30+ bull elk on many elk hunts last fall, this ranch offers archery and rifle hunts paramount to none. With over 95% of the landscape dominated by a highly productive mixed coniferous forest with abundant water features which include large reservoirs, year-round creeks, streams, ponds and various stock water developments. The timber alone is an investor’s dream. The ranch ranges in elevation from 3,100 feet at the lower end of Strawfork Creek to 5,100 feet atop Snow Board Ridge and encompasses a variety of landforms, from deep canyon breaks and expansive forests to rugged highlands with sweeping views of the John Day River basin and the Cascade Mountains. Improvements include a hunting cabin, corrals, reservoirs, paved road access and well-maintained perimeter and interior fencing. Easily accessed year-round via State Highway 19, the ranch is located 11 miles east of Fossil, Oregon and 1.5 hours northeast of Bend, Oregon.

Kinzua provides exceptional timberland investment opportunities, unprecedented hunting & fishing, and is a low-overhead, well-managed, and highly productive grazing operation offering significant management flexibility because of its overall size and configuration.
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The topography and landscape of Kinzua Ranch is dominated by timber, with pine trees being the primary species. Abundant water features and improvements include reservoirs, year-round creeks and streams, stock­ water ponds, springs, playas, and range developments. Multiple water sources include Thirty Mile Creek, Searcy Creek, Buckhorn Creek, Camp Creek, and Lake Creek, along with two significant ponds stocked with trout. Other various ponds, springs, and seasonal creeks can be found throughout the property. Spring and summer livestock grazing is well-balanced with adequate grass, water, and facilities. The ranch’s valleys, meadows, and ridge-top locations provide seclusion with no public access.

The Kinzua town site, a ghost town, was formerly Wheeler County’s most populated community, as it provided homes and jobs to workers for the once thriving Kinzua Pine Mills Company, the hub for the area’s lumber business.


Situated on the Umatilla Columbia Platuea in the lower John Day Basin in the Blue Mountains, the Kinzua Ranch is located 11 miles east of Fossil. The perimeter of the ranch is well blocked and provides one contiguous parcel with a paved state highway to multiple entrances. This unit provides a secluded location with no public access ​behind several locked gates, which is very unusual for a tract of this size.


The ranch is a low-overhead, well-managed, and highly productive grazing operation offering significant management flexibility because of its overall size and configuration. Depending on annual range conditions, the owner will generally run 600-700 breeding cows and ​30 bulls from April 1 to September 30. The grass is well balanced with stubble heights monitored to adequate levels. In the early months of the grazing season, an abundance of seasonal streams supply abundant water, and in the later months, the ranch’s sporadically scattered large ponds, multiple streams running year-round, and springs become the main sources of water. The past years of strategic logging have created excellent range growth conditions, providing a nice blend of open growing areas along with ample shade for livestock in the dark timber.


Multiple water sources include: Thirty Mile Creek, Searcy Creek, Buckhorn Creek, Camp Creek, ​Lake, and Little Lake Creek, along with two significant ponds stocked with trout and bass. Sizable resevoirs created during the mill’s operation include Searcy and Wetmore. Other various ponds, springs, and seasonal creeks can be found throughout the property. With multiple storage water rights included, the ranch has abundant year-round water supply.


The Kinzua Ranch has been managed for timber production for over 80 years by private entities and consists of 29,000 acres of Timber with 100+/- mmbf of Merch Timber. The site productivity of the Kinzua Ranch is above average for eastern Oregon timberlands​ because of soil types, north aspect slope advantage, and rainfall. The principal timber species is Ponderosa Pine, with lesser stands of Douglas Fir, White Fir, Tamarack, Lodge Pole Pine, Aspen stands and small meadows. The owners have practiced selective cutting over the years, so it provides good cover and food for many kinds of wildlife.


In addition to their productive grazing operation, Kinzua Ranch is highly regarded for tremendous wildlife populations on the ranch. As a result of the long-standing approach to sound stewardship, the ranch offers the opportunity for some of the best private hunting on the market today. This ranch is one of the largest blocks of premier hunting and recreational units in eastern Oregon, with creeks, timber, meadows, and open areas, this property is exceptional for deer, elk, turkey, cougar, bear, bobcats​, waterfowl, and other small wildlife. Grouse ​and other upland bird species provide additional bird hunting. Located in the Fossil Unit, the ranch qualifies for 12 archery hunters; 5 rifle deer hunters, and 8 rifle elk hunters. The majority of the Unit is comprised of private lands managed for wildlife, with only 16% public lands, resulting in a large number tags available annually.


Additional to the premier hunting and fishing, the ranch provides abundant opportunities for other recreation, such as snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, four-wheeling, and bike riding or hiking. The Kinzua Hills Golf Club is located just a couple miles from the ranch, it was established as a golf course in the 1930's by the owner and workers of the Kinzua Corporation.

Located 10 miles from the ranch, the John Day River is one of Oregon’s most scenic and enticing multi-day floats, and because it flows undammed for 281 miles to join the Columbia River. There are several different sections to float depending on time, water levels, and the desired scenery. The two segment for which the John Day is best known are the stretches from Service Creek to Clarno and Clarno to Cottonwood Canyon, both having a Wild and Scenic designation. These river segment offers exceptional native steelhead and warm-water bass fishing; white water boating with many locations of archeological, and historical interest. The Kinzua Ranch is located 10 miles from the Service Creek boat ramp and 30 miles from the Clarno Boat ramp, make it a perfect location to access multiple sections of the John Day River. ​It is also centrally located between the 3 national parks that comprise the John Day National Fossil National Monument including the Painted Hills Unit, Clarno Unit, & Sheep Rock Unit including the Paleontology Center.


The ranch has an extensive road network and power transmission infrastructure, including three-phase and single-phase power available. There is also a small substation near the historic Kinzua Townsite. The property contains a newer hunting cabin and two older cabins that have been used for hunting as well as for the cattle operations. The cabin site has an excellent spring that could be developed with a concrete storage box. The property also includes an abandoned ODF fire lookout theat creates multiple development opportunities. The property includes three functional corrals for livestock management. An extensive network of roads have been maintained throughout the property.


The elevation ranges from approximately 3,100 feet to 5,100 feet with rainfall varying from about 15 inches to 35 inches, depending on Elevation. Frost-free days number from 60 to 80 annually ​or longer depending on elevation. The winters are moderate with a potential for snow pack accumulation at the higher elevations. Precipitation occurs on the ranch throughout the year. Snowmelt and springs provides most of the water for creeks and meadows. In winter, the ground is covered with snow much of the time​ in the higher elevations.

In Fossil, Oregon, summers are warm and winters are cold. In the summer months, the average temperatures are 77-87 degrees and in the winter months, the average temperatures are 42-56 degrees.


Located in Wheeler, County, the ranch is zoned for Exclusive Timber Use (ETU). This zone is designed to encourage the management of commercial forest lands as a stable timber base, and to conserve natural resources. The Timber Use Zone is intended to encourage and promote the development and conservation of natural resources.

Co-listed with Jake Polvi 541-410-3050, [email protected]