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Birds Got no Beef with Burger

By Guest Author | January 22, 2020

Opening the pickup door and stepping out onto native grass, the sun begins to rise amidst the sound of the dawn chorus. I listen to the melodic tinkling of a Baird’s sparrow (my favorite song, and also set as my morning phone alarm); the downward whirl of the Sprague’s pipit (my ring tone); the buzz of the Brewer’s sparrows, the joyful couplets of the McCown’s longspur. The chestnut-collared longspurs are chasing each other in play, or fight.

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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.”

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.

Waterton Biosphere Reserve’s Carnivores and Communities Program

The Waterton Biosphere Reserve’s (WBR’s) Carnivores and Communities program operates in four municipalities, two of which are within the boundaries of the Waterton Biosphere Reserve in Canada. The program focuses on proactive management to decrease conflict between people and carnivores, especially bears and wolves, within the agricultural community of Southwestern Alberta. It is well funded and effective, and it is a major WBR program.

Hunters Helping with Wildlife Management on Private Lands

In its third year, the Master Hunter Program educates and certifies qualified hunters, and provides landowners with a pool of competent, ethical and responsible hunters to draw from when weighing options to manage wildlife populations on their land, and considering who to allow on their property to hunt.

An Old Tool Protecting New Calves

A tool originally developed for hunting wolves is a non-lethal option for protecting livestock from them, through a public-private partnership in big sky country.

Seeking Solutions for Grizzlies in the Gravelly Mountains

Livestock producers in the Northern Rockies face the growing challenge of increasing numbers of grizzly bears. That challenge has come to a critical point in the Gravelly Mountains in southwest Montana, where the population of grizzlies has expanded in recent years onto public lands grazing allotments on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The number of livestock lost to grizzly predation on these rangelands consequently increased dramatically over the last several years.

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.

Western Digest – December 2019

Monthly digest of news and opportunities on working lands, water and wildlife.

NRCS and the 2018 Farm Bill: What’s New

When a new farm bill comes out, there is often a sinking feeling that it’s going to be a lot to swallow and maybe not all of it will be great tasting. Will the same programs be available? And if so, what will be different about them, if anything? What exactly are the programs again?

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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At stake

"In the Sonoran and Chihuahuan bioregions and most of the arid West, ranching is now the only livelihood that is based on human adaptation to wild biotic communities … Much more is at stake here than the future of a few ranch families. Wildlands teach those for whom they are home an outlook and insights to which others are blind."

Jim Corbett

The Malpai Agenda for Grazing in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Bioregions

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- Wendell Berry

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