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Monitoring & Mapping

Monitoring is a critical component of our business. Our management decisions are informed by numerous monitoring systems we have established to audit the animal and vegetative health of the land.

In conjunction with Land EKG, Ranchlands establishes monitoring locations across its properties that allow us to observe vegetative growth trends and identify micro-ecosystems that require particular attention. We also partner with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory to fund and manage bird banding stations that allow us to track songbirds, an important indicator for ecosystem health.

Numerous other programs, including our support of a USGS study on elk and bison interaction and grazing exclosures that allow particular areas to be rested for long periods of time, help complete the picture of our land’s health and the effects of our management practices.

 

e use grazing animals in coordination with a highly focused planning process to achieve our ecological goals. Rest for grasslands is a fundamental tool that we use in coordination with grazing, and fire has a place in some instances. We use mechanical and chemical means only in rare circumstances where livestock grazing has to be supplemented.
 

Planning

Planning is of paramount importance in our land stewardship programs. Every year we set aside several days for intensive grazing planning sessions, one before the growing season, and the other before the dormant season. We frequently invite outside experts to participate in our meetings to make sure we’re incorporating fresh perspectives. During these sessions, we plot where every single animal on the ranch is going to be during that season, taking into account many things including: stocking rates, stock densities, adequate rest for the land, water availability, drought contingencies, and points of special ecological need that require particular focus. This plan then forms the basis for our cattle moves, and is easily updated as environmental conditions dictate.
 

Cattle & Bison

Our cattle and managed bison herds are consolidated into herds as large as possible in order to allow for intensive animal impact, if needed, followed by maximum rest for the land. Large herds allow the animals to significantly impact the surface of the ground through numerous natural processes that aid in maintaining healthy grasslands. The herds are moved in accordance with the grazing plan to achieve optimal results for both the livestock and the land, taking into account the over-arching needs of the entire ecosystem and wildlife. This is the fundamental grazing pattern that grazing ungulates have exercised in the evolution of the world’s great grasslands. Our goal is to continue learning about this natural dynamic as we work with each landscape.

 


 
CONTACT US 719.428.5006 info@ranchlands.com