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Profiles in Land and Management – Lonetree Ranch


By guest contributor Kevin Alexander Watt, TomKat Ranch

Over the last year, TomKat Ranch has traveled around the American West to gather and share the stories of private ranchers and public land managers who have realized economic and ecological benefits from using regenerative practices. These stories are meant to highlight the diverse real-life experiences of individuals, families, and operations who are benefitting from investing in building productivity and resilience for their land and inspiring others who are ready to do the same.

The profiles showcase the variety of practices, goals, challenges, and outcomes that are part of regenerative management and explore stories ranging from 5th generation cattle ranches in Montana to grazing cooperatives on tribal lands to first-time ranchers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This month we are publishing our profile on WLA member Lonetree Ranch in Wyoming. Over the summer I had the chance to visit Lonetree Ranch in Wyoming and talk with Marissa Taylor about her family’s ranching operation. Marissa’s name had come up repeatedly while planning this series on regenerative ranches, especially from participants of the Western Landowners Alliance’s Women in Ranching program, so I was excited to meet her and see the ranch. Lonetree ranch is an example of how tradition and innovation can work together to create regenerative success for ranch businesses, families, and ecosystems. Since 2009, the Taylor Family has worked to grow a thriving cattle business and improve the health of their land, watershed, and wildlife by seeking out and testing the most effective land and livestock management strategies they can find. From traditional herding wisdom to modern carbon farming, the Taylors work closely with the land and animals to grow the productivity and resilience of their ranch and business for generations to come. Marissa sums up the family’s commitment by saying, “We are a refuge for wildlife, but we also want to push the envelope and promote American ranching.”

To read the profile, please click here.

The Profiles in Land and Management Series by guest contributor Kevin Watt features the work of innovative ranchers and land managers who are achieving economic and ecological benefits on working lands. Kevin served as the TomKat Ranch Land & Livestock Manager until 2017 and now works on research, outreach and special projects for the ranch.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s). Publishing this content does not constitute an endorsement by the Western Landowners Alliance or any employee thereof either of the specific content itself or of other opinions or affiliations that the author(s) may have.*
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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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As I drove north and east, away from the golden California foothills that are Steinbeck country and into a Martian landscape where places went by names like “Craters of the Moon,” “Atomic City” and the “Sawtooth Mountains,” I wondered what was wrong with me.

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