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Stewardship

Greg Hertel and his airedale terriers

Greg Hertel has used Airedale terriers for several years to protect himself, family and staff from grizzly bears by keeping them away from livestock and buildings around their Cody, Wyoming ranch. The Airedales sound a particular bark when they smell or see a grizzly bear, and are let out of their kennel to run the bears off the ranch.

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Profiles in Land and Management – Root Down Farm

This month we share the story of Root Down Farm in Pescadero, California. In 2014, Dede Boies started Root Down Farm in one of the most expensive counties in the United States. While finding affordable land and housing and starting a new business was a substantial challenge, her unwavering commitment to growing the best food she could for her customers in a way that also improves the health of the land helped Root Down Farm not just survive but grow.

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Tenacity + Solidarity + Creativity

One cold, dark, November night, I was lost somewhere outside the small town of Walden, CO, searching for a bison ranch. I had taken time off from my marketing job at Whole Foods Market to help during the outfit’s annual bison roundup. With no cell service, I was becoming increasingly concerned about finding the ranch. Self-doubt kicked in. When I finally had service I called my husband. “Is this normal?! For a 30-some year old woman to be spending her free time showing up at some ranch not knowing where she is going to sleep, what she is going to eat, to learn about a completely new profession?!” My husband replied, “No, but do it anyway.”

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Profiles in Land and Management – Grupo La Báscula

This month we are sharing our profile of the Grupo La Báscula in Chihuahua, Mexico. This profile highlights the inspiring work of a community-based grazing cooperative that with planned adaptive grazing has improved vegetation and soil health, supported wildlife populations, and increased economic success and opportunity in the arid grasslands of northern Mexico.

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Motherherd

I’ve always doted on the calves, but this year I realize that I am in love with the Motherherd. I love the Mother words: Motherlove, Mothergod, Acequia Madre. Written as compound words, they become icons rather than alphabetic symbols to me, and like an icon, the paint, wood and gilt is believed to be infused with the sacred nature of what it depicts. The word and the herd smooth my skin when I’m rattled or angry.

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Profiles in Land and Management – Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area

As part of our Profiles in Land and Management series, this month we highlight Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area. 4x4s and ATVs meet cattle where the California Department of Parks & Recreation seeks to reduce fire risk at this multiuse park on the San Andreas fault. Adaptive planned grazing increases perennial grasses and listed species, keeps the neighbors happy, and saves the land management agency time and money.

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