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.

Saving Salmon and Saving Money

According to the authors of the article below, the key to salmon restoration is to join together the ownership of dams and salmon fisheries, giving dam operators incentives both to earn money and save fish—or, […]

On the Elk Trail: Episode 6 – When do Elk Migrate?

Quoting the producers of the video below, “Each fall, thousands of elk flood out of the mountains in a mass migration. Without calendars or clocks, how does the herd decide when to move? This amazing, […]

Gulf Oysters Are Dying, Putting a Southern Tradition at Risk

Once so common they were considered food for poor people, oysters are increasingly a rare and costly delicacy. Oyster decline reflects the damage agricultural practices are doing to fisheries.

How Beef Eaters in Cities Are Draining Rivers in the American West

Paraphrasing the authors below, “The biggest user of river water by far, is not lawns and showers, but agriculture. New research shows that across the Western United States, a third of all consumed water goes […]

Stewardship with Vision – Episode 5: David Spicer

Quoting the producers of the video below, “David Spicer’s leadership in restoring springs, wetlands, and riparian areas on his ranch and beyond has helped keep a species from being listed under the ESA and supported […]

The Once and Future Monarch

“As discussed below, glyphosate (Roundup) is the largest single factor behind the collapse of monarch butterfly populations. 

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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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If Crop Insurance Rewarded Conservation Practices, Would More Farmers Go No-Till?

“As described below, a private task force is developing a crop insurance product that would reward farmers for adopting regenerative conservation practices.  If the task force succeeds and the product is approved by the Federal Crop […]

Coronavirus Outbreak Shows The Risk in Ignoring Human Activity’s Impact on Nature

Paraphrasing the authors of the article below, “The role of healthy, intact ecosystems is being overlooked, together with the essential link between human, domestic animal and wildlife health. Biodiversity — the richness of life on […]

Mountain Goat Removal Temporarily Closes Areas Of Grand Teton National Park

According to the article below, the National Park Service (NPS) has decided to exterminate wild mountain goats in the Teton-Yellowstone Parks because they (1) are non-native, (2) “compete” with bighorn and (3) might infect them […]

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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:

On the Elk Trail: Episode 6 – When do Elk Migrate?

Quoting the producers of the video below, “Each fall, thousands of elk flood out of the mountains in a mass migration. Without calendars or clocks, how does the herd decide when to move? This amazing, […]

How Beef Eaters in Cities Are Draining Rivers in the American West

Paraphrasing the authors below, “The biggest user of river water by far, is not lawns and showers, but agriculture. New research shows that across the Western United States, a third of all consumed water goes […]

Stewardship with Vision – Episode 5: David Spicer

Quoting the producers of the video below, “David Spicer’s leadership in restoring springs, wetlands, and riparian areas on his ranch and beyond has helped keep a species from being listed under the ESA and supported […]

View all posts

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