The Berry Creek Ranch, near John Day, Oregon, is a small family-owned ranch dedicated to responsible stewardship of the land, water and livestock we raise.
The Larson family is a multi-generational family with roots in Oregon dating back to the 1800s in Eastern Oregon. Both Gordon and Julie and their children have very diversified backgrounds and bring a host of strengths to the multi-faceted business that is modern day ranch stewardship.
The Larson’s purchased the Berry Creek Ranch in 1998 with the intent to raise livestock and develop a working ranch from property that had long been over-grazed and over-logged. We have made many substantial improvements including countless miles of new fencing designed to protect fish habitats as well as new fish friendly irrigation systems designed to enhance the passage of the native steelhead that spawn in the Berry Creek and Canyon Creeks that flow through the ranch.
While these efforts and countless other environmental stewardship projects have enhanced the fish and wildlife habitat on the ranch, as well as provided exceptional grazing for the livestock that roam the ranch, nothing could have prevented the catastrophic devastation that happened when the 2015 wildfires swept through the area in August 2015. The initial start of the fire was a lightning strike just outside the Berry Creek's border in Strawberry Wilderness. In the next few days, the maelstrom that would be later known as the Berry Creek fire and ultimately the Canyon Creek Complex would raze the forests that surrounded the ranch and devastate the trees, land and foliage.
The fire had destroyed nearly all the old wood barns and left only piles of debris and burned trees and stumps where a forest once stood. After surveying the devastation the wildfire had done, we began the difficult task of rebuilding:
We were able to renovate the cabin, which was our home when we purchased the ranch, into a vacation rental that is booked year round by people from all over the world.
The Berry Creek has also expanded the horse boarding operation and now have over a dozen boarders, most of whom are young professionals who have moved to the area to take advantage of the open country and wild places. They all enjoy the opportunity to ride their horses right off the ranch onto tens of thousands of acres of wilderness and US Forest Service property.
We now provide a barn/arena of nearly 10,000 square feet for our horse boarders and others to use. Thus far it has been used for weddings, country music events and even been used by the Discovery Channel as a base of operations for an episode of Expedition X as well as by a British YouTube channel featuring the Berry Creek Ranch.