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.
Is a value-based decision-making framework that integrates all aspects of planning for social, economic and environmental considerations.
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.
“As discussed below, well-managed domestic cattle, bison, other livestock and grazing animals can restore ecosystems and biodiversity, upcycle grasses humans can’t eat into bioavailable nutrition, reduce wildfire risk, and help us create a better planet […]
According to the article below, cougars translocated from Texas saved the Florida mountain lion, known as the Florida panther. At least two of those cougars were trapped at Circle Ranch, the West Texas ranch we […]
Goats are excellent at brush-clearing, as shown in the article below about Brackenridge Park in San Antonio. Many so-called “exotic”, “non-native”, and “invasive” species are also useful in maintaining and improving habitat. These include […]
The Rules that Govern Life on Earth – with Sean B Carroll
The author of ‘The Serengheti Rules’ has shown that in order to be healthy, grasslands need (1) keystone grazers, (2) many prey species and (3) many predators. In this 50-minute video he explains these ideas […]
Buffalo were the keystone grazing animals of the American Great Plains. At the American Prairie Reserve in Northeastern Montana, the plan is to recreate the world’s largest bison herd. NOTE: this post was origibnally […]
Another excellent article by the Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC) the free market conservation think tank based in Bozeman. This one is about how to address people and livelihoods while achieving the essential ecological […]
Most Texas elk hunters must draw permits in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico etc., pay many thousands of dollars and travel out of state for a chance to hunt free-ranging trophy elk. Yet, elk are native […]
Grand Teton Cull Ends With 58 Mt. Goats Killed, Primarily in Park’s North End
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 […]
Restoration of Beaver in Arizona’s San Pedro River
Beavers are a keystone species in desert ecosystems. See how beaver restoration is healing a degraded Arizona river and its Mexican tributaries. NOTE: this post was originally published to this site on May 28, […]
It Began as a Tool to Save Wild Elk. A Century Later, Feeding Threatens Iconic Herds
Here is a Washington Post article on the CWD threat from elk feeding. The paper says CWD was “identified” 50-years ago. The ‘rest of the story’ is that the “identification” occurred in a Colorado state […]
Rangeland Restoration: Subsoil Contour Plowing at Circle Ranch, in far-West Texas
Subsoil contour plowing is an excellent way to increase water absorption in the desert grasslands of far-West Texas and Southern New Mexico. The effectiveness of the practice is shown in these before-and-after comparisons.
Gulleys for Grassland Restoration: #7 Best Equipment
When we divert rainstorm runoff from eroding gulleys to restore desertifying canyons and grasslands, what are the best equipment & practices? Our conclusions might surprise you. NOTE: this post was originally published to this […]
The Once-Extinct Aurochs May Soon Roam Europe Again
According to the article below, restoring large wild grazers like bison and aurochs (wild giant cattle) will enhance the health of European forests. Quoting the authors, “By disrupting forest growth, these mammals created varied […]