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.

Fighting Wildfires With Fire

Due to well-intentioned “hands off” forest management practices – often intended to help wildlife – our national forests are accumulating highly flammable understory material faster than nature can cycle it away.   The well-meaning prescription […]

After Years of Political Gridlock, Oregon’s Fire Disaster Brings ‘New Reality’

Insistence on unproven and costly schemes like “cap and trade” continue to block immediate, inexpensive measures for wildfire prevention.

Purcell Mountains Wildlife

Idaho Fish and Game cameras capture wildlife in Idaho’s Purcell Mountains. This remote and rugged range extends north into British Columbia where its upper reaches offer some of the continent’s most famous mountaineering and powder […]

Chukar Life

Upland bird hunting along the Snake and Salmon rivers in Idaho.  

Painting Eyes On The Butts Of Cattle Surprisingly Effective At Scaring Off Would-Be Predators

Here is another example of low-tech, non-lethal ways to protect cattle from predators.     NOTE: this article was originally published to IFLScience’s Apple News Channel on August 7, 2020. It was written by Katy […]

Public Land Grazing in California: Untapped Conservation Potential for Private Lands?

“This article is more important today than when it was published 13-years ago.

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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:

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Documents Detail Push To Manage Yellowstone Bison as Cattle

The article below summarizes various objections to managing Yellowstone bison more like cattle in order to control brucellosis, among other things. Yellowstone’s elk and bison are now a regional reservoir for this disease, which causes […]

Stewardship with Vision, Episode 9: Sieben Live Stock Company

Sieben Live Stock Company is a family owned and operated ranch in north central Montana which raises cattle and sheep. The Hibbard family believes proper grazing techniques can improve overall land health. Their practices include […]

When the Otters Vanished, Everything Else Started to Crumble

Quoting the authors of the article below, “In the Aleutian’s delicate seascape, otters hold the entire ecosystem together. As they have disappeared, the rest of the local food web has started to crumble.

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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:

Fighting Wildfires With Fire

Due to well-intentioned “hands off” forest management practices – often intended to help wildlife – our national forests are accumulating highly flammable understory material faster than nature can cycle it away.   The well-meaning prescription […]

After Years of Political Gridlock, Oregon’s Fire Disaster Brings ‘New Reality’

Insistence on unproven and costly schemes like “cap and trade” continue to block immediate, inexpensive measures for wildfire prevention.

Purcell Mountains Wildlife

Idaho Fish and Game cameras capture wildlife in Idaho’s Purcell Mountains. This remote and rugged range extends north into British Columbia where its upper reaches offer some of the continent’s most famous mountaineering and powder […]

View all posts

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