Owners Kathleen and Brian Bean are the visionaries behind Lava Lake Lamb’s mission of producing delicious grass-fed lamb, protecting the land they use, and catalyzing conservation action in the Pioneer Mountain region. As a family of ranchers and environmentalists, our story is deeply intertwined with our commitment to restoring and preserving this land for its history, its beauty and its biological diversity.
Located just southeast of Sun Valley in the Pioneer Mountains, our ranch is continuing the best family ranching traditions of past generations while incorporating conservation and science practices—adding our own chapter to the story of this land. We have implemented an ambitious conservation plan to preserve the lands where we raise our animals. With over 17,000 acres permanently protected by conservation easement and over 60,000 acres of certified organic pasture and range lands, we are committed to land stewardship and sustainable practices.
Lava Lake is bordered on the east and south by Craters of the Moon National Monument, a geologic wonder with spectacular but desolate black lava flows created by volcanic eruptions some 2,000 years ago that were most likely witnessed by the Shoshone and Bannock People. Early settlers, seeking a shorter route to Oregon, encountered this forbidding terrain when they followed Goodale’s Cutoff on the Oregon Trail. This sinuous stretch of the Cutoff, hugging the sage-covered hillsides above impassable lava, goes right through Lava Lake Ranch and attracts Trail scholars each year.
Lava Lake’s operating area extends from the deserts of the Snake River Plain south of the Ranch at roughly 3,000 feet to the high peaks of the Boulder and Pioneer Mountains north of us at nearly 12,000 feet. From sagebrush, grassland plains and lava flows to river, foothill and mountain ecosystems, this landscape is rich in biological diversity. Over 100 bird species have been recorded in the ranch’s operating area, as well as many wide-ranging and keystone species such as wolf, black bear, mountain lion and elk.
As time goes on, our story will weave itself into the fabric of this land, building upon its rich foundation of cultural and natural history. The care we have taken to ensure its continued flourishing, as well as the connections between people, community, and environment we have forged in our pursuit of producing delicious grass-fed lamb will be reflected in the beauty of this land for generations to come.