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.

Baby Elk Swept Downstream

This little elk calf has been swept downstream trying to ford the Fall River, during the June floods in Yellowstone.  

The Catastrophic Extinction of North American Mammoths and Mastodonts

“One of the greatest myths of our politically-correct anthropology is that ‘Native Americans” lived in harmony with all wildlife. Early human hunters were closely involved with the Pleistocene Extinctions, just 12,000-years ago. This was the […]

Controlled Burn Turned Disaster – Again!

“As discussed in the article below, it is only common sense to use animal impact from goats, wild horses and cattle to replace the missing wildlife that formerly reduced fire hazards in our wild places. […]

150 Goats to ‘Mow’ 7 Acres of Brackenridge Park

Goats are excellent at brush-clearing, as shown in the article below about Brackenridge Park in San Antonio.   Many so-called “exotic”, “non-native”, and “invasive” species are also useful in maintaining and improving habitat. These include […]

Watch This Wolf Go Fishing

Will wolves fish?  

Five Iconic Animals of Yellowstone

“Yellowstone National Park may be best known for Old Faithful geyser and other unique geothermal features, but it’s also home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. Learn about wolves, elk, […]

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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.

Latest articles:

Read more about the topic areas listed above:

150 Goats to ‘Mow’ 7 Acres of Brackenridge Park

Goats are excellent at brush-clearing, as shown in the article below about Brackenridge Park in San Antonio.   Many so-called “exotic”, “non-native”, and “invasive” species are also useful in maintaining and improving habitat. These include […]

The Rules that Govern Life on Earth – with Sean B Carroll

The author of ‘The Serengheti Rules’ has shown that in order to be healthy, grasslands need (1) keystone grazers, (2) many prey species and (3) many predators. In this 50-minute video he explains these ideas […]

Life of Elk

Elk are Texas natives. Largely wiped out by 1900, they are poised to recover in far-West Texas, but need the same protection as other native game species.   NOTE: this post was originally published to […]

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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.

Latest articles:

Read more about the topic areas listed above:

Baby Elk Swept Downstream

This little elk calf has been swept downstream trying to ford the Fall River, during the June floods in Yellowstone.  

The Catastrophic Extinction of North American Mammoths and Mastodonts

“One of the greatest myths of our politically-correct anthropology is that ‘Native Americans” lived in harmony with all wildlife. Early human hunters were closely involved with the Pleistocene Extinctions, just 12,000-years ago. This was the […]

150 Goats to ‘Mow’ 7 Acres of Brackenridge Park

Goats are excellent at brush-clearing, as shown in the article below about Brackenridge Park in San Antonio.   Many so-called “exotic”, “non-native”, and “invasive” species are also useful in maintaining and improving habitat. These include […]

View all related articles

Join us!

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