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.

Good Fire and Bad Fire: Is an Indigenous Practice Key to Preventing Wildfires?

According to the article below the best way to prevent catastrophic fire and restore degrading forests is widespread controlled burning, which in conservation circles is now more commonly known as prescribed burning. The problem is […]

Markets for Conservation: Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis

There are more wild horses and burros on the public landscape allotted to them than that range can sustain. Beautiful as they are, these animals are degrading the range and they compete for water and forage with […]

Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States, Volume 1

  In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey completed analyses necessary to map mule deer corridors, stopovers, routes and winter ranges in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. A total of 26 corridors, 16 migration routes, 25 stop-overs, […]

Wild Horses in America: Lemons or Lemonade?

The reason horses do so well in our wild environments is because they belong here. Classifying wild horses as exotics makes sense only to those who are unaware of our continent’s natural history.   For […]

Redefining “Recovery” of Grizzly Bears

Here is the position of those who say that the definitions governing Grizzly Bear recovery should be expanded.  

Addressing Brucellosis Will Help Ranchers and Wildlife

Quoting the PROPERTY AND ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH CENTER (PERC) article below, “Because ranchers bear the cost of brucellosis—and the stress of the very real possibility of transmission of the disease—they are understandably reluctant to have 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:

Markets for Conservation: Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis

There are more wild horses and burros on the public landscape allotted to them than that range can sustain. Beautiful as they are, these animals are degrading the range and they compete for water and forage with […]

Wild Horses in America: Lemons or Lemonade?

The reason horses do so well in our wild environments is because they belong here. Classifying wild horses as exotics makes sense only to those who are unaware of our continent’s natural history.   For […]

Livestock: A Powerful Tool for Wildfire Control

Quoting the article below, “Livestock grazing is also proposed as a potential solution for wildfires such as those that have devastated several western states this year. Researchers with the University of California Cooperative Extension are […]

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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:

Markets for Conservation: Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis

There are more wild horses and burros on the public landscape allotted to them than that range can sustain. Beautiful as they are, these animals are degrading the range and they compete for water and forage with […]

Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States, Volume 1

  In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey completed analyses necessary to map mule deer corridors, stopovers, routes and winter ranges in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. A total of 26 corridors, 16 migration routes, 25 stop-overs, […]

Wild Horses in America: Lemons or Lemonade?

The reason horses do so well in our wild environments is because they belong here. Classifying wild horses as exotics makes sense only to those who are unaware of our continent’s natural history.   For […]

View all posts

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