Our Philosophy

Biodiversity = sustainability.

To date scientists have described 1.7 million of the world's species of animals, plants, insects and algae—and they’ve not all been described…or discovered. The number, while vast, is less important than the point it makes: nature requires diversity.

Ecosystems and food chains are intricately woven from a wide variety of plants, animals and soil life that have evolved and adapted to their specific location. Diversity of life, known as biodiversity, provides an insurance policy against uncertainty. For instance, a drought descends. Some plants can tolerate the intermittent dryness better than others. Those that do continue to provide food and cover during the extreme period, helping sustain the wildlife.

Biodiversity also ensure necessary relationships exist. Pollinators and plants. Predators and prey. Even legumes and nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil. When those vital relationships function optimally, the overall health of the attendant ecosystem is elevated.

Biodiversity minimizes risk and increases sustainability. A monoculture, whether in production agriculture or in a pasture of introduced grass, is a weak link in life’s chain. A single disease. A single catastrophe. A single drought can wipe it from the earth’s face without a replacement.

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.

As a result, we focus on the big picture. We truthfully assess where the land and the wildlife are now, using proven scientific methods and ongoing observation to ground our findings in truth. Then, we determine where we want the land and the wildlife to be in the future, striking a balance between the needs of the species as well as ecological and economic necessity.

Holistic management, the process of looking at the whole picture, is not a quick fix but a series of slow, measured steps toward healthier and better. Quite honesty, there are often missteps along the way. The beauty of paying close attention, though, is that you notice things going wrong before permanent damage is done.

Nature didn’t put all of her biological eggs in one basket—and neither do we.

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.

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.

Lessons From the Prairie

 A Land-Management Legend Offers 50 Years of Soil-Nourishing Wisdom.

How to Let Grow

“How do we “rewild” areas where the native species are now extinct? In England, they use “exotic” species as substitutes. This common sense would collide with so-called “invasive species biology” in most of the US.

The War On Nature

Quoting the authors below, “In reality, the problem is not herbicide resistant weeds; it is the perception that they are an enemy that must be destroyed at all costs. Military imagery – especially words like […]

Scorched Portugal Turns to the Goat as a Low-Cost Firefighter

In nature, different animals eat different kinds of plants and there are specific species for every such “ecological niche”. Where native animals have gone missing, domestic goats can be used to replace animals that once […]

Largest Animal Epidemic in History Is Due to Factory Meat Production

The African Swine Fever outbreak, which has now spread to China, could result in the slaughter of 200 million hogs this year, in an effort to get the disease under control. Rob Wallace of the […]

Are Elk Native to Texas–Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Natural Occurence of Elk in Texas

This paper began as an effort to persuade Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to cease its efforts to eradicate elk on the state lands which it manages in far-West Texas. Our assumption was that […]

Back to Nature: Making Money While Restoring The Land

Going against the grain has paid off for these beef producers and even encouraged other conventional farmers to change course.

‘Earthworm Dilemma’ Has Climate Scientists Racing to Keep Up

Now we are adding earthworms to the list of invasive species.   After climate change, the most discussed environmental issue is the so-called invasive species crisis. Invasive species biology rests on the mistaken belief that […]

How Pesticides Can Actually Increase Mosquito Numbers

Over long periods, many if not most of our attempts to alter nature backfire.   The lesson: do these things holistically. Work with nature, not against nature.  

Liquid Blood Is Extracted from 42,000-Year-Old Foal Found Frozen in Siberia

The intriguing possibility of resurrecting an extinct horse highlights difficult questions and contradictions of modern wildlife thinking.   Would a horse cloned from a species extinct for more than 10,000 years, be a “native” if […]

Shooting Sportsman: The American Prairie Reserve

A visionary conservation success is taking shape on the high plains surrounding the Missouri River in northeastern Montana. Texas could – and should – have its own version.

Saving the World with Fake Meat?

According to the author, the UN’s most recent conclusion on climate change is that we must all adopt “demand reduction” of meat if the human species wishes to survive. In short, everyone must learn how […]

6 Reasons Why The Practice of Silvopasture Will Help Save Modern Farming

Silvopasture (in Latin, silva means forest) is the practice of combining woodland (trees) and the grazing of domesticated animals in a mutually beneficial way. Specific silvopasture benefits are discussed below.

Montreal Turns to Coyote Hazing After 19 People Are Bitten

Beginning in the late 1800s, government-funded eradication programs eliminated most wolves in the United States. This policy was based on a complete failure to understand the importance of predators in natural systems. Many unintended consequences […]

Wyoming’s Incredible Animal Migrations Revealed as Never Before

“Here is a wonderful video showing animal movements around Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. In a first-of-its-kind mapping project by the University of Wyoming, researchers track how elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn […]

Disease Threatening Deer Population Has Spread to 26 States

According to this article, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first “discovered” in mule deer at a wildlife research facility in Colorado in 1967. Here is, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.” […]

DNA Of Wolf Declared Extinct In Wild Lives On In Texas Pack

More on the ‘discovery’ of Red Wolves in Texas.   The real hero is “Wil E. Coyote” the indomitable little wolf of our Southwestern Deserts. Like his roadrunner cartoon adversary, Coyote has run circles around the […]

Do States Manage Wolves Better?

Decades of experience with wildlife and forestry management shows that state agencies generally produce better results than federal agencies. It’s not that the feds don’t know what needs to be done; it’s that they can’t […]

“Wil E. Coyote” for the Evolutionary Win

More on the “discovery” of Red Wolves in Texas. The real hero is “Wil E. Coyote,” the indomitable little wolf of our Southwestern deserts. Taking a cue from “The Roadrunner,” his cartoon adversary, the coyote […]

Elk Country Chronicles – The Sounds of Elk Country Volume 10

Nothing is as peaceful as elk country. Rather than trying to eliminate all elk on Texas’ public lands under the scientifically-bogus belief that they are an “invasive, exotic” species that harms bighorn, pronghorn and mule […]

Rise of the Golden Jackal

The golden jackal is Europe’s coyote. Like coyotes in North America, golden jackals are spreading because: (1) Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, and (2) natural systems require predators. When looked at this way, the golden […]