Landowner Profile: Bunny Dines of Boxcar Ranch
by Tyler Grimes
Boxcar Ranch owner Bunny Dines is one of the more recent landowners to work with the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas. Her ranch is accessed by the historic Stone Bridge, and sits opposite the Arkansas from the Stone Bridge take-out area. It’s also the first private property below Browns Canyon. Last September, the 90-acre property was placed into a conservation easement by LTUA.
“I didn’t want to see any of it developed, but especially the river portion,” Dines said. She recalls discussing conservation options with her husband, Ty Dines, who bought the ranch in 1986. They were advised by other ranchers and eventually agreed it was a good idea, but weren’t able to act on it before Ty’s passing in 2009. Once Bunny began working to place the land in an easement, it took nearly two years before completion. Now, the ranch, surrounded by BLM land to the east and Browns Canyon to the north, will remain undeveloped.
A fourth generation Colorado native, Bunny splits her time between the ranch and her home in Denver. She said she lives in Denver to be near her children and grandchildren, and doctors and dentists, but loves spending time at the ranch as well. She married Ty Dines in 1988 after meeting in Denver.
The Boxcar Ranch is home to a few horses and a couple of cattle. Bunny said she planned to add two more steers to graze the land, as well as utilize the 1100-acre BLM grazing permit adjacent to the ranch. Bunny said it’s not uncommon to see bighorn sheep, deer, elk, bear, and even mountain lions coming down from Browns Canyon. Last year, a black bear killed some of the chickens on the ranch, but the mountain lions have never bothered any of the stock. Bunny has a manager, George Oversole, who oversees day-to-day operations of the ranch.
An old red boxcar sits on the property and was the inspiration for the ranch’s name. Bunny is not sure the history of the boxcar, where it came from or who put it there, but she plans to turn the boxcar into guest housing at some point. Nearby historic buildings, along with views of surrounding public lands and the river’s accessibility, make the ranch ideal for an easement.