fbpx Skip to content

Profiles in Land and Management – Lowry Ranch

Share

By guest contributor Kevin Alexander Watt, TomKat Ranch

As part of our Profiles in Land and Management series, this month we share the inspiring story of Lowry Ranch and how public land managers at the Colorado State Land Board (CSLB) collaborated with private graziers using planned adaptive cattle grazing to improve ecological function on this state-owned property while generating sustainable revenue to support Colorado’s public schools.

Lowry Ranch is 25,000 acres just southeast of Denver. The ranch includes 10,000 acres of Piedmont tallgrass prairie, making it one of the largest contiguous tracts of native prairie in the state. Two ephemeral creeks cross the ranch, fostering diverse habitats of plains, riparian, and prairie grassland ecosystems. This landscape’s diversity supports abundant wildlife such as pronghorn antelope and many resident and migratory birds species, including nesting bald eagles.

After years of over-grazing, CSLB initially removed cattle from the property in the hopes of affecting ecological recovery but recovery was slow and in some cases, ecosystems were getting worse. In the hopes of reversing decline before further damage was done, CSLB engaged the Savory Institute and The Nature Conservancy in 2014 to develop a resource management plan and a set of actions to improve the land, generate sustainable revenue, protect the rare tallgrass prairie remnant, and promote healthy wildlife population. The plan catalyzed a 10-year lease with explicit stipulations for a manager who would apply a Holistic Management approach. With the new plan and manager in place, Lowry Ranch revenues, forage quality and quantity, and water cycling have all increased.

To read more on this 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.*
Resilience starts with the land

Support local land stewards

We urge you, dear reader, to follow CDC and government advice to help slow the spread of coronavirus. If you are able, please support those in your community who are being hit hardest by the disease and the social and economic impacts of the response. Some great ideas for how to help from home can be found here: 

Posted in

Herding to reduce depredation

Hilary and Andrew Anderson manage cattle and range using a combination of progressive range management practices, electric fencing, low-stress range riding and herding in southeast Montana. By the mid-2000s, they…

In Honor of Dr. Michael Soulé

It is largely because of Dr. Michael Soulé that we now plan nature management around the concept of connectivity. The “father of conservation biology” passed on June 17th at the age of 84. He was also one of the conceptual founding fathers of Western Landowners Alliance.

Stay up to date on policy changes and new developments.

Western Landowners Alliance will send you the latest developments and policy updates important to the economic and ecological health of working lands.

WLA works on behalf of landowners and practitioners throughout the West. We will never share your contact information with anyone. You can manage your subscription or unsubscribe at any time.

©2019 Western Landowners Alliance • PO BOX 6278, Santa Fe, NM 87502 • 505.466.1495 • Privacy Policy

Scroll To Top