AMERICA'S WESTERNMOST RANCH DOES NOT LIE ALONG THE SLOPES OF A REMOTE MOUNTAIN RANGE, NOR UNDER A BONE-BLEACHING DESERT SUN, NOR ON A TROPICAL BEACH.
Instead, the massive ranch lies northwest of the contiguous United States and Hawaii, clinging to the heart of the Cradle of Storms, as locals call this region of Alaska. Resembling a strand of emeralds set against a steely gray sea, the Aleutian Islands reach for Asia with the snow-capped peaks of dozens of volcanoes peppered by the domes of small Russian Orthodox churches.
The jagged islands separate the frigid waters of the Bering Sea from the relatively warm waters of the Pacific with its Kuroshio current. The mixing of these waters gives birth to some of the most violent storms recorded in North America, often draping this world in fog for weeks and keeping the lush grasslands of these islands green.
The 686-square-mile Umnak Island is just west of Dutch Harbor. Seventy-two miles long and 16 miles wide with a volcano of its own, the island is also the home of the nearly 500,000-acre Bering Pacific Ranches with its 10,000 head of cattle. There are about 10,000 reindeer, a small bison herd on the far end of the island, and a few wild horses. The Okmok volcano and other mountains in the center of Umnak Island separate the ranch from the village a little more than 40 miles away. The ranch house, housing for cowboys, slaughterhouse, and pens were originally part of Fort Glenn, a World War II Army air base that was effectively abandoned a few years after the Japanese surrendered. The slaughter plant was built up from the concrete foundation of one of the military structures. The site is leased from the Alaska Department of Transportation, and grazing rights for the ranch are leased from Native corporations that own land on the island.
The ranch maintains a small herd of 11 saddle horses, but the real work bringing in the cattle is done with a two-seat helicopter. With stock ranging 50 miles or more from the pens, The ranch found horses to be impractical across such distances of rough terrain. The helicopter is ideal for working the valleys, driving the animals out toward the holding pens. The ranch becomes fully operational in the fall months, each season processing 500 to 1,000 head with 40 to 60 head per day after the cattle have been rounded into pens following a summer spent fattening up.
Umnak Island and Unalaska Island, Alaska
200,000 Acres under grazing lease (4 Separate Leases)
A total of 500,000 Acres available to cattle
Year round carrying capacity of 8,000 to 10,000 head without supplementation
- 10,000 Head
- USDA / Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Slaughter Facility
- Ranch Headquarters Building
- 3 Cabins
- Shop and Hanger
- R22 Beta Helicopter
- Misc Ranch Equipment, Trucks, Tractors, etc.
Please contact Icon Global Group for more details.