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.

Fuel, Fire, and Wild Horses

Wildfire continues to devastate the American West at increasing rates. According to some, the plan that could combat the danger of forest fire lies in the complicated history and present role of the wild horse. […]

Tasmanian Devils Born on Australian Mainland for First Time in 3,000 Years

These animals probably disappeared from the Australian mainland in large part due to human impact. They will likely thrive when reintroduced – if they are protected.   America also has species that were successfully reintroduced […]

Plug and Spread Made Easy

This is a 4-1/2 minute video about the “Plug-and-Spread” method of harvesting water from gullies. Water harvesting including Plug and Spread, in combination with Keyline sub-soiling, wild animal impact and planned grazing of cattle are […]

Drought Busters 101 : A 21-Minute Video on Desert Grassland Restoration

“Drought Busters” is an inexpensive, quick, physiologically and economically sustainable method of habitat and wildlife restoration. We call it Drought Busters because it increases effective rainfall by rebuilding soil fertility and the soil’s ability to […]

Holistic Management at Work

Holistic management uses a long term planning process that assigns to environmental and social outcomes the same importance as profits.  In addition to being particularly suited to the deserts of far-West Texas, its grazing and […]

Using Cows to Improve Wildlife Habitat and Increase Pronghorn

This is the second in a series about how domestic animals like cattle can help wildlife and habitat in desert grasslands.  Our first introduced Cows and Quail, Albuquerque-based Holistic Management International’s range and wildlife program […]

Aspen Forests Provide Great Habitat for Ruffed Grouse

“Ruffed grouse – and all species –  do better in mixed (partially-logged) forests.  

Grazing Naturally, by Dick Richardson, with Remarks by Allan Savory

“Holistic Management International (HMI) published the article below by Dick Richardson, describing a better grazing system.  I asked Allan Savory, HMI’s founder, what he thought of it.    Dick Richardson’s article, and Allan Savory’s response, […]

Preserving The Future of Grouse, Woodcock and Hunting – Ruffed Grouse Society

The Ruffed Grouse Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forests for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. Without young forest habitat, populations of grouse […]

Wildlife Killing Contests – The Movie

The polite and restrained movie appearing below is not anti-hunting. In fact, it should be mandatory viewing for all hunters and wildlife lovers.   While most of the contests target predators, each shot fired damages […]

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 […]

Clovis and the First North Americans

At some time around the end of the last ice age, about 11,500 years before present (“BP” is defined as 1950 AD), the first human hunter-gatherer groups entered North America, where they encountered diverse environments […]

The Gray Wolf Leads the Way for Other Endangered Species

“Common sense advice on how best to advance wolf restorations, from the PROPERTY AND ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH CENTER of Bozeman Montana. PERC is the home of free market environmentalism.  

Grizzly 399’s Diet Takes a Concerning Turn

“It is a tragic fact that once a grizzly associates people with food, it likely will have to be destroyed.   Counter-intuitively, limited hunting of grizzly bears, which would give them reasons to fear humans, […]

US Officials: Climate Change Not a Threat to Rare Wolverine

Contrary to the popular narrative, a slightly warmer climate, particularly in areas that are usually covered by snow and ice, expands the habitable area for many species.   Furthermore, endangered species listings should not be […]

Trumpeter Swan Cygnets Released at Yellowstone to Boost Population

“The trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) is a species of swan found in North America. The heaviest living bird native to North America, it is also the largest existing species of waterfowl, with a wingspan of […]

Burned, Beetle-ravaged Wyoming Forest Expected to Flourish

As demonstrated across the West, refusing to “manage” forests is a powerful management practice. While the practice of keeping human hands off of forest resources may be well-intentioned, it is detrimental and destructive. The “hands […]

The Elwha Dams Are Gone and Chinook Are Surging Back, But Why Are So Few Reaching the Upper River?

“As reported below, King Salmon recovery on the Elwha River is going slowly. It will require that wild sea-run fish find their way back into the river, spawn, and then after several years, return to […]

Tasmanian Devils Return to Mainland Australia for First Time in 3000 Years

Here is an interesting article about how on the Australian mainland, Australian wildlife managers are reintroducing an animal wiped out thousands of years ago by human impact.   Reintroducing a native animal thousands of years […]

Allan Savory – Saving Western Ranching Culture

“In this interview Allan Savory explains why the Western ranching culture is dying along with other cultures.