Arrowsmith Niobrara River Ranch is located along the federally designated Scenic River corridor that has shaped the landscape for centuries and provided endless opportunities for cattlemen and recreation. The ranch consists of 4,400± deeded acres of hay meadows, upper bench grassland, timber, and over three and a half miles of river frontage. It is home to one of the finest Red Angus operations in the great plains and offers Nebraska’s best all around hunting opportunities including elk, deer, turkey, quail, grouse and pheasant. The sky is the limit with this highly-diverse ranch property.
Just the Facts
- 4,400± deeded acres
- 500± sub-irrigated acres
- 1,300±- timber acres
- Three and a half miles of Niobrara River Canyon
- Tarbell Creek flows over three miles of the property
- 250 cow/calf year-round operation
- 500 cow/calf summer grazing operation
- Bow hunted by Fred Bear with remnants of his old wooded tree stand
- Outlaw Doc Middleton hideout remnants
- Resident elk herd
- Bull elk pushing 400”
- Deer pushing 200”
- Owner eligible for Niobrara landowner elk and deer tags
- Hay meadows producing over 4 ton per acre
- World-class wildlife habitat
- Excellent upper bench meadows for grazing
- Pine, cedar, oak, and ash trees predominantly
- County road access
Commercial air service is available at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport near Grand Island, 160 miles south of Bassett, and North Platte Regional Airport near North Platte, 183 miles from Bassett. Passenger, air freight, and air express services are provided. Great Lakes Aviation serves both airports with three flights daily to Denver.
Rock County Airport (RKO) serves Bassett and Rock County. The airport has a paved lighted runway extending 4,698 feet. The facility is at an elevation of 2,348 feet and located two miles west of Bassett.
The area is steeped in rich history of the finest quality cattle in the world. As a result, local cattle sale barns have historically brought highest returns anywhere in the U.S. for the area’s cattle producers.
Also, the great bowhunter Fred Bear spent many days stalking deer on the ranch. The current owner can remember the days that Fred would spend on the ranch and can point to the remnants of an old wooden tree stand that Fred used.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Sub-irrigated Hay Meadows: 500± Acres
Timber: 1,300± Acres
Upper Bench Grassland: 2,600± Acres
The National Park Service oversees management of the Niobrara in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Niobrara Council, The Nature Conservancy, local governments, and citizens. All are committed to preserving this valuable resource.
The Niobrara is a relatively undammed river for most of its 535 miles. The only dam that currently exists on the Scenic River stretch is Cornell Dam. Cornell Dam is located on the Ft. Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and has a significant historical context for the Niobrara River Valley and the nearby town of Valentine. The dam was built in the early 1900s but has not been operational since 1984. It now exists as a “run-of-the-river” dam; however, it still serves as an impediment to upstream migration of aquatic species. It also continues to alter the hydrology of the upper portion of the Scenic River stretch.
Springview, with a population of 244 is the county seat of Keya Paha County. It was named for the Keya Paha River that runs through it, which in turn was named from two Lakota words, Keya (turtle) and Paha (hill or butte).
Tarbell Creek flows for over three miles of the property through a timbered canyon draw. There are numerous springs and dams that provide livestock and wildlife water. A new solar well has been placed on the valley floor to water livestock grazing the meadows.
The Niobrara River is known for its beauty, biological significance, and paleontological resources, and is enjoyed as a superb canoeing river of the northern Great Plains. In 1991, Congress designated 76 miles of the Niobrara east of Valentine, Nebraska as part of the National Scenic River System - a river that merits special protection and recognition.
Additional recreational opportunities include all terrain vehicle trails that can take days to cover all of them. The remoteness of the property along with it varied terrain and timber gives a feel of enchantment while meandering through the ATV trails.
Water on the ranch is provided by three windmills and the balance from live water. Tarbell Creek flows through the ranch for over three miles, along with numerous springs and dams offer livestock water year around. Water on the ranch is shallow and additional stock-wells are easily developed. Summer grazing stocking rate could be increased by as many as 200 cows with water development on west end of ranch.
Hay on the ranch is provided from 500± acres of sub-irrigated and upper bench meadows along the Niobrara River and will typically produce over three ton per acre, which provides adequate winter feed. Winter protection on the ranch is exceptional with oak and pine trees in the numerous canyons along with oak brush and cedar trees. Do note that the ranch is managed mainly for wildlife habitat and that operational considerations could lead to a much higher cattle stocking rates and still maintain wildlife habitat.
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