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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
“For animals in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, the normal balance of competition and predation was upended when a war wiped out the top predators. The remaining animals didn’t simply grow in numbers—they began behaving in […]
Documents Detail Push To Manage Yellowstone Bison as Cattle
The article below summarizes various objections to managing Yellowstone bison more like cattle in order to control brucellosis, among other things. Yellowstone’s elk and bison are now a regional reservoir for this disease, which causes […]
Stewardship with Vision, Episode 9: Sieben Live Stock Company
Sieben Live Stock Company is a family owned and operated ranch in north central Montana which raises cattle and sheep. The Hibbard family believes proper grazing techniques can improve overall land health. Their practices include […]
When the Otters Vanished, Everything Else Started to Crumble
Quoting the authors of the article below, “In the Aleutian’s delicate seascape, otters hold the entire ecosystem together. As they have disappeared, the rest of the local food web has started to crumble.
Climate Change Mitigation is a Side Effect of Regenerative Ranching: Insights From Australia And The United States
“Whatever the causes of climate change, human damage to our environment cannot be denied. As the authors of this paper explain, more and more people are rejecting industrial agriculture in favor of regenerative (restorative) ag […]