Columbia River Gorge, WA
Columbia River Gorge, WA
The Farmers:John Streur and Mary Kleihege
Year Founded: Early 2000s
Acreage:The cattle roam1700 acres in the Columbia River Gorge.
Animals Raised:Highland Beef Cattle.
Farming Practices:Mountain ranching;raising cattle naturally, on the range; seasonal grazing on a bio-diverse diet of native grasses and forage; Agroforestry and silvopasture grazing; ongoing effort to reduce fuels that could lead to potential fires.
Fun Farm Fact:“The Little Seven Seven” name comes from the shape of the two original sections of land that made up the ranch, each shaped like a block number seven, one on top of the other, touching kitty corner, and running a total of two miles north to south and two miles east to west. The ranch brand is L77, and the ranch is known locally as “The L77.”
The Little Seven Seven Ranch is a family owned ranch located 12 miles east of the Hood River Bridge, in the Columbia River Gorge. The ranch land is within the Gorge National Scenic Area and is managed the old-fashioned way. The ranch sells grass fed Highland Beef and oak and fir firewood. Firewood customers have orders delivered throughout The Columbia River Gorge and beyond.The story of the Little Seven Seven Ranch is a story of western land and western commitment to ranching, respecting animal health and welfare. Highland Cattle are a beautiful and ancient breed. The L77 produces top quality beef with the welfare of the cattle and the health of the land as top priorities.The Little Seven Seven Ranch is an excellent setting to raise Highland Cattle naturally. A variety of grasses, brush, shrubs and other forage create a “bio diverse” diet that contributes to the distinctive flavor and tenderness of the beef. This environment, along with the ranch’s pure-bred herd of Highland Cattle, is ideal for producing a flavorful beef. High protein and iron and a higher concentration of long chain Omega 3 type fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats make this a healthy product for the consumer.“The Little Seven Seven” name comes from the shape of the two original sections of land that made up the ranch, each shaped like a block number seven, one on top of the other, touching kitty corner, and running a total of two miles north to south and two miles east to west. The ranch brand is L77, and the ranch is known locally as “The L77”.The two original sections of land are in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and were owned by the State of Washington from the time of statehood in 1889. In the early 2000’s, after over 120 years of ownership, the State traded this land to timber companies and allowed logging. The L77 bought this property. Over time adjacent land and other ranches have been added. Today The Little Seven Seven Ranch covers 1700 contiguous acres, almost all of which is in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
The ranch is maintained in order to create a healthy and productive forest, excellent grazing areas for Highland Cattle and a natural environment for the dozens of other species that have called this land home for hundreds of years. Mountain lions, bobcats, bears, squirrels, deer, elk, wild turkey, heron, ducks, hawks, eagles, owls are some of the more prominent inhabitants.The lower portion of the ranch is at an elevation of about 900 feet above sea level. The ranch is about 2400 feet at the northern end. This change in elevation creates a significant temperature and precipitation difference; in the winter the north end may experience heavy snowfall while the lower areas have rain or mist or sun. The grass at the lower elevations is ready for grazing weeks ahead of the meadows that are above the 2000-foot line, due to warmer temperatures at lower elevation. This is classic mountain ranching, with the cattle starting off the grazing season in April at the base of the ranch and working their way north with the growth until the snow flies in November.The ranch has views of Mt. Hood, the Columbia River and the hills of the Gorge across the river in Oregon. Many of the ranch’s neighbors are vineyards. The wineries Domaine Pouillon, Syncline, Memaloose and COR Cellars are very nearby.