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.

Sage Grouse Land Management Plan Changes

As described below, agency plans regarding Sage Grouse management have been changed to enable local stakeholders to determine what strategies to implement where and how while still conserving sage grouse habitat.

The Resistance to Holistic Wildlife Management

Across the West as well as in Texas, agencies, universities, governmental and conservation organizations resist holistic wildlife and agricultural management practices. Most Western public grazing rules make holistic grazing very difficult if not impossible  In this […]

Why Apocalyptic Claims About Climate Change Are Wrong

In addition to being wrong, overblown claims about “climate change”  – as described below –  are discrediting efforts to limit and reverse practices that are hurting rangelands, forests and wildlife.

Stewardship with Vision – Episode 3: Betty Shahan

Through a lifetime on the land in southern Colorado, Betty Shahan has served as a leader in integrating conservation and ranching. The Chama Peak Land Alliance, of which Betty is a founding member, is a […]

Costs that Discouraged Rotational Grazing Practices on the USA’s Great Plains

As discussed in the paper below, the expenses of fencing and water improvements are barriers to planned grazing. The authors suggest ways to overcome these.

Nature Up Close: The Bighorn Sheep of Yellowstone

Read the article below for wonderful photos and video of Yellowstone Bighorn.

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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:

The Resistance to Holistic Wildlife Management

Across the West as well as in Texas, agencies, universities, governmental and conservation organizations resist holistic wildlife and agricultural management practices. Most Western public grazing rules make holistic grazing very difficult if not impossible  In this […]

Massive Juniper Tree-Cutting Project Aims to Aid Sage Grouse

According to the article below: “Overall, sage grouse numbers have dwindled from an estimated 16 million before European settlement of the West to no more than 500,000 today in 11 western states. The project that […]

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 […]

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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:

Sage Grouse Land Management Plan Changes

As described below, agency plans regarding Sage Grouse management have been changed to enable local stakeholders to determine what strategies to implement where and how while still conserving sage grouse habitat.

The Resistance to Holistic Wildlife Management

Across the West as well as in Texas, agencies, universities, governmental and conservation organizations resist holistic wildlife and agricultural management practices. Most Western public grazing rules make holistic grazing very difficult if not impossible  In this […]

Costs that Discouraged Rotational Grazing Practices on the USA’s Great Plains

As discussed in the paper below, the expenses of fencing and water improvements are barriers to planned grazing. The authors suggest ways to overcome these.

View all posts

Join us as we manage the resources within our fence lines, but think beyond the box.