The B-square Ranch was established in 1957 by Tom Bolack to demonstrate
multiple land use. The 300 acre operation involved land reclamation,
river rechanneling and production of wildlife habitat. Showing the
fruits of agricultural production won many ribbons at the New Mexico
Tommy Bolack watched, with great interest, the early development
of the ranch and began working at the ranch during the summer in
1962, and was managing the operation eight years later while attending
college. By 1973, he was managing the operation full-time and was
personally growing and assembling the yearly New Mexico State Fair
display. The Bolacks had withdrawn the display from competition as
winning many ribbons was defeating their purpose to encourage others
to complete and to keep their land productive. As a further incentive,
the Bolacks matched all first place premiums on agriculture products
and awarded ribbons.
Over a thirty year period, several large acquisitions would enlarge
the ranch to it's present 12,000 acres. Several river rechanneling
projects would straighten five miles of the San Juan River and produce
eight new lakes and 1,000 acres of riparian wildlife habitat. A land
reclamation project would transform 7000 acres of wasteland into
productive farm land. Finally a watershed management program would
construct 300 retention dams and re-seed nearly 5,000 acres of barren
A bridge was moved some twelve miles in 1980, and placed to link
the north and south ranch operations and was dedicated in memory
of Tom's wife, Alice, who died of cancer in 1978.
Despite Tom's near fatal accident in the early 1970's, and a stroke
twenty years later, he and Tommy worked hand-in hand in the development
of the B-Square Ranch. Tommy acted as engineer, implementer and inspector
for most projects.
Today, the operation boasts a 650 head cattle heard, 400 deer, winter
refuge for 75,000 waterfowl, home to pheasant, turkey, quail and
raptors. The showplace of resource conservation at work clearly demonstrates
that agriculture, livestock, wildlife and oil an gas production
can co-exist in mutual benefit.