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Herding to reduce depredation

By Guest Author | June 30, 2020

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…

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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.

Birds Got no Beef with Burger

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.

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.

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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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