Managing Resources. Provoking Thought.

Ranchers. Entrepreneurs. Environmentalists. Increasing biodiversity for a better ranch—and a better tomorrow.

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Experience from the high deserts of Texas to the Rocky Mountain West.

For 20 years, our family owned and managed Circle Ranch, 32,000 acres of high desert located in the Sierra Diablo Mountains of far-West Texas. Our goal? Leaving the land more diverse, and therefore healthier, than we found it.
We steward the resources in our care by considering delicate ecosystems as a whole. Looking at the big picture allows us to improve the land, the water and the wildlife in concert.
The hard-earned lessons of West Texas apply to the Rocky Mountain West.
Welcome to Pitchstone Waters, our newest living laboratory. Increasing biodiversity requires equal parts perspiration and inspiration. Join us as we manage the resources within our fence lines, but think beyond the box.

Latest articles:

To Save Salmon, U.s. Approves Largest Dam Removal in History

“Quoting the article below, “Faced with costly new regulations that included building fish screens and ladders, the company (power utility PacifiCorp, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway instead entered an agreement with the tribes and […]

On the Elk Trail: Episode 2 – Elk Migration

In 2018, a biologist and a filmmaker used camera traps to film the entire fall migration of an elk herd in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of western Wyoming. During the project’s first week a snowstorm […]

New Mexico Mammoths Among Best Evidence for Early Humans in North America

These findings are consistent with radio carbon dates found at Circle Ranch Indian Cave in 2011 and 2013, as reported on this blog.  

Wild Horses Can Prevent Out-of-control Wildfires Out West, Researcher Says. Here’s How

Roaming wild horses may help cut down on the size and intensity of wildfires out west, according to research from the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.  

Stewardship with Vision – Episode 2: Malpai Borderlands Group

  In the high desert of southern Arizona and New Mexico, almost a million acres of important habitats and nearly 30 at-risk species are being protected and conserved…by a coalition of ranchers who manage from […]

The Culling Effect

  The Comanche Ranch conducted a 15-year “capture study’ with 15,000 wild deer captures. The focus was DNA, culling, and feeding.   The conclusion of the culling portion is that culling DOES NOT WORK – and […]

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Our Philosophy: wildlife and habitat only prosper when their ecosystem is in balance.

First at Circle Ranch and now at Pitchstone Waters, we manage by maximizing biodiversity. It’s good for production, it’s good for the bottom line and it’s good for the planet. In our world, we don’t label a species “good” or “bad.” We’ve come to understand all species can play a role in a healthy environment if—and it’s a big if—they are in balance.
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Holistic Management

Is a value-based decision-making framework that integrates all aspects of planning for social, economic and environmental considerations.

Industrial Agriculture

Efficiencies gained through chemical fertilizers and pesticides, allowing fewer people to produce more livestock and crops, intensifying and industrializing agriculture.

Institutions

Over time institutions—land grant universities, state and federal conservation agencies, NGOs and grassroots conservation organizations and big business—have become as inextricably linked as the ecosystems they explore, manage and regulate.

Invasive Species Biology

Since the beginning of time, species have spread and contracted their ranges. A variety of factors including weather and climate influenced their spread and movement.

Our Resources: the objective of biodiversity conservation is to maintain viable native animal and plant populations of all kind.

The complex issue of biodiversity encompasses virtually all plants and animals at genetic, species, community, and landscape scales. We provide resources and our working insights on the topic across the following areas.
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Fisheries

Fisheries, both freshwater and saltwater, serve as the proverbial canaries in the coal mine when it comes to water quality.

Rangelands

Rangelands act as nature’s factories, while also providing wildlife habitat and the viewsheds that lift the human spirit.

Forests

Native forests are as diverse as native rangelands or any other healthy ecosystem. Like rangelands, forests produce oxygen, sequester carbon, provide wildlife habitat and play a role in the water cycle.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl reflect the conditions of the land and the water across the North American continent. As they migrate from north to south and back again, they, depending on species, rely on a wide range of environments.

Livestock

Instead of being a threat, well-managed livestock can reinvigorate landscapes that have devolved into barren unproductivity, helping restore other essential ecological processes along the way.

Water Management

The quality and quantity of water available in America is directly correlated to the condition of the land.

Predators

When we look at nature’s big picture, we have to recognize the role predators play in the health of the natural world. True biodiversity must also include fangs and claws.

Wildlife

Wildlife are part of nature’s whole. To improve their future, we have to improve their habitat from the soil up.

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Dig into our thoughts and our collection of articles and resources focused on biodiversity.

Join us!

Follow along as we manage the resources within our fence lines, but think beyond the box.