With heavy hearts, we are sad to share our dear friend and conservationist, Calvin Haverfield passed away on Tuesday, July 4. The Haverfield’s ranch lands have been dedicated to the recovery of black-footed ferrets since Calvin’s father, Larry, changed his livestock grazing practices and made a commitment to coexist on the land with prairie dogs over 35 years ago. Calvin and wife, Lillie, continued to carry out their family’s legacy with great pride and joy.
The Haverfield’s 10,000-acre ranch is possibly the most wildlife-abundant spot in western Kansas. The prairie dog colonies – the largest in Kansas – provide abundant food or shelter to copious swift fox, burrowing owls, ferruginous hawks, golden eagles and other wildlife. The family’s refusal to kill prairie dogs and their excitement to restore endangered species in Kansas has led to their ranch to be one of the most successful private lands black-footed ferret reintroduction site today. It hosts nearly 30 ferrets on upwards of 6,000 acres of prairie dog habitat.
Calvin believed that ranching and wildlife can go hand in hand. He was an example of true stewardship to his land and cattle, working closely with Defenders of the Wildlife. His loved ones say Calvin’s presence will be fondly remembered by the Kansas sunrise as it stretches across the ranch he loved most, and in the sounds, smells and colors across the vast and beautiful Kansas prairie.