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How the COVID-19 relief package can help western landowners

By Patricia Dowd | March 30, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes specific provisions for critical sectors of the economy, with particular assistance for agricultural businesses and land managers. In the following, we lay out these provisions and, where appropriate, how to avail yourself of them.

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A lens on the seasons on Lonetree Ranch

Hello from Southwest Wyoming! I would say it is my favorite time of year, but I think I say that at the change of each season. This past year we…

Working Wild Challenge connects ranchers remotely

Human society may be slowing down at the moment, but in the working wild where people, wildlife and livestock share a common landscape, life is in full swing. The Working Wild Challenge kicked off its practitioners call this week, bringing ranchers together from communities across the West. The call, which will continue on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7am MT, is a place where ranchers can share their experiences trying to ranch alongside grizzly bears, wolves and elk.

Women in Ranching to host weekly community check-in calls

In response to recommendations to limit in-person interactions from the CDC and pandemic experts, our Women in Ranching program director Amber Smith will be hosting weekly video conference calls on Zoom, every Wednesday at 12pm (noon) MST, for connection, comfort, and community.

Vital connections in challenging times

Strengthening human health and resilience from the ground up. The profound challenges we face today underscore that we are all part of a living community. Individual human health is dependent…

Profiles in Land Management – Goat Green

This month we share the successful land regeneration work of Goat Green, a contract grazing company that using planned grazing and 1,500 goats to restore ecological health to lands where oil wells and pipelines once operated.

Science from the saddle: The importance of story

Last summer, I fell into an irrigation ditch, lost a bale off the flatbed, and broke a fence. I started off very slow when fixing fence, slow on my horse,…

A new kind of cowgirl

When I first moved back to my family ranch ten years ago, fresh out of college, I was plagued with insecurities. I had been around ranching all my life, the oldest of two daughters, and my parents were very egalitarian and encouraged us girls to do anything. Anything that is, but raise cattle. I could fumble through a fence repair, and obviously I could drive a stick shift, but I felt as though I would never learn everything I needed to from my dad.

Keeping it in the family: My start down the path of succession planning

Last summer, I told my colleagues that I would be taking a sabbatical from work to develop a succession plan for my family ranch, a 300-head cow-calf operation in southern Arizona. “Succession plan” was such a nebulous term that I felt like I needed dedicated time just to figure out what it meant before I could create one. It was overdue. In 2013, one week before my son’s birth, my father had an accident while riding that could have easily killed him, and nearly did.

My role on Montana’s Grizzly Bear Advisory Council

The 18-member Grizzly Bear Conservation and Management Advisory Council of Montana citizens has a big job between now and its August 2020 deadline. With four the eight scheduled council meetings have now taken place, this a good time to share my impressions of the work so far, and the important tasks that lie before us.

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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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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"The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope."

- Wendell Berry

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