Agritourism camp approved for Garland Prairie in Williams
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — A unique venture that includes a guest ranch and regenerative agriculture could be coming to Garland Prairie’s Moose Ranch.
On Jan. 6, the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit to Bradbarrie Companies, LLC of Stephenville, Texas, for the 160-acre agritourism project, which proposes a 65-unit tent glamping campground that includes a guest ranch with extensive garden on Rosalida Springs Road.
“(It) will give guests a unique and transformative experience to immerse in nature and experience regenerative agriculture, while significantly improving the ecology of the land,” said Jeremy Budge in the proposal.
The ranch will include grazing paddocks, green houses, orchards, bee keeping, botanical gardens, arboretums, fish farms, bird habitats, pollinator habitats, milkweed for monarchs and more.
Guests will stay in low density, low impact tented lodging units and will eat at an onsite farm to table greenhouse restaurant, which will prioritize ingredients produced on the ranch or at other local farms and ranches, Budge said.
Activities at the ranch will include farm to table cooking demonstrations, regenerative agriculture demonstrations and clinics, kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga, guided meditation, nature walks, spa services, horseback riding, fishing, beekeeping demonstrations, swimming, art classes and mountain biking.
According to Budge, the property was previously overgrazed and needs restoration. If the project is approved, the new owners plan to use regenerative agriculture practices to rehabilitate the land
“Soil health is poor and exhibits large percentages of uncovered, nutrient poor, bare soil,” Budge said. “We believe that by putting the right practices in place that major transformations in the health and biodiversity of the land will occur.”
Budge said restoration of the site will be guided by principles of regenerative agriculture. This system uses farming principles that rehabilitate the entire ecosystem and enhance natural resources, rather than depleting them.
The facility will consist of lodging tents, possibly made of canvas or other material that can be relocated. Tents will have ensuite bathrooms and electricity.
Lighting for the facility will be minimized to reflect the natural atmosphere of the site. Fixtures will be dark sky rates and pointed down.
Electricity has already been brought to the property and power distribution plans are forth coming. Solar panels may be incorporated into the design.
Potable water will be delivered to the site, although wells are available on the property.
The property has an alternative wastewater treatment system, but the developer plans to investigate treated wastewater for irrigation for grazing paddocks and orchards.
The ranch plans to operate from March through November, unless there is sufficient demand to expand the season.
The ranch will ultimately have 65 guest accommodations that range from two to six guests per tent. There will be 40-55 staff employed by the ranch.
“The intention is for guest operations to be low impact and for guests to experience the peace and serenity of nature,” Budge said.
The project is expected to be built in stages over three to five years. The first phase will include the central greenhouse, grazing paddocks, barn, 10 tens and a portion of the arboretum/botanical gardens.
The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the conditional use permit with several conditions.
The facility must become a subscriber to Ponderosa Fire Department and submit a Firewise and Emergency Response Plan for approval.
Since the property is surrounded by Kaibab National Forest, the applicant must obtain a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service and maintain the access road from Garland Prairie Road to the property.
All outdoor lighting will need to meet requirements for single family residences and be narrow spectrum or filtered LE and fully shielded.
Perimeter fencing will need to be retrofitted to be wildlife friendly.
Recreation on the property must be internal unless approved by Kaibab national Forest.
The applicants notified property owners within a 3.5 mile radius of the proposed camp and hosted an online meeting Nov. 25. Of the 27 parties invited, one attended and had no concerns, the county said.