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.

As a source of lumber and wood products such as paper, much of our forest land particularly through the southeast has been converted to a monoculture of softwood pines, managed under industrial systems. It has produced a glut of softwood and timber stands that are in declining health.

In national forests, the mixed timber stands tend to suffer from benign neglect. Bowing to pressure from outside groups with little understanding of nature’s processes, the forest managers “preserve” the forests by simply leaving them alone. Lack of thinning, a proliferation of undergrowth make them the forests prime targets for disease and uncontrolled fire.

Forests, like rangelands, benefit from managers who consider the big picture and manage for balance.

Latest articles

Read more about forests and forest management practices:

2022 Winter Wildlife Near Yellowstone Park, in Idaho

Winter wildlife, 2022 at Pitchstone Waters.  

Wolves and Moose at Pitchstone Waters

It’s springtime at Pitchstone Waters Ranch, which means that we can access our game cameras in the high forests along our boundary with the national forest, and see last winter’s photos. The game camera that […]

Understanding ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’ 

As discussed in the compelling article published below, “Wild horses that are restored back into their evolutionary roles as keystone herbivores naturally protect forests, wildlife, watersheds and wilderness ecosystems, which benefit through symbiotic grazing by […]

Yellowstone National Park’s Migrating Bison

As winter snow accumulations melt, a “green wave” of fresh growth moves upwards, into Yellowstone’s higher elevations. Bison follow the green wave and they pretty much go where they wish. All this reverses with autumn […]

Judge Restores Protections for Gray Wolves Across Much of US

“This was inevitable once Montana, Wyoming and Idaho resumed their 150-year long war on wolves.  

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 […]

BARRIERS

     Mule deer, elk and other hooved mammals around the world depend on their ability to migrate between seasonal habitats. Sadly, human activities are impeding migrations and making them harder than ever. Many […]

Adjusting the Lens of Invasion Biology to Focus on the Impacts of Climate-driven Range Shifts

The authors observe that as climate changes, plants and animals move around. They say this is good, and natural.  

Not Quite Right – Not All Herbivores Are The Same

More thoughts on how – and why –  wild horses can improve habitat and reduce wildfire.  

The Cowboy Cauldron Firepit

If you live in wildfire country and  want a very safe way to enjoy outdoor fires, consider a Cowboy Cauldron. They aren’t cheap but they really work.  

Grand Teton National Park Hopes Collaboration, Not Closures, Will Protect Bighorn Sheep

According to the “experts” quoted below, backcountry skiers threaten bighorn sheep numbers.   This is contrary to our hands-on, 20-year experience with the desert bighorn sheep in far-West Texas. If humans don’t harass them, bighorn […]

Connecting Ranchers with Land Stewards Could Be Key to Less Disastrous Wildfires

As discussed below, grazing of domestic animals – cattle, sheep and goats – is an effective way to prevent wildfire and improve habitat.   Another species that has great potential for wildfire control is the wild horse. […]

Livestock Pond Attracts Wildlife in Idaho Forests Near Yellowstone Park

At Pitchstone Waters in the Idaho forests near Yellowstone Park, we built a small stock pond to keep our cattle drinkers filled. This pond and other water additions are heavily used by a wide variety […]

The Unconventional Weapon Against Future Wildfires: Goats

Appearing below is an excellent article on goats and wildfire control. Goats have worked very well for us at Pitchstone Waters in Idaho, as discussed extensively in this blog.  

Forest Thinning Helps Curb Wildfires

According to the experts quoted below, lack of selective logging and prescribed burning are primary reasons for the increasing severity of wildfires, and declining forest health.  

Grizzly Pond Wildlife, Summer 2021

  Grizzly Pond Wildlife, Summer 2021 from Christopher Gill on Vimeo.   At Pitchstone Waters Ranch 5-miles southwest of Yellowstone Park on the Fall River, we built a small ‘turkey nest’ pond, to gravity feed […]

Support for Mitigating Catastrophic Wildfire Damage and Environmental CWD Contamination Using Wild Horse Grazing

“Three seemingly unsolvable problems facing forest, range and wildlife managers are (1) increasing numbers and severity of wildfires, (2) the relentless spread of CWD, and (3) what to do about wild horses. What if a […]

Diversity of Life at a Beaver Pond

  Quoting the producer, “A compilation video of some of the wildlife that visited a beaver pond in New Hampshire over a six-month period. The series shows beavers, river otters, bear mother and cubs, mink, […]

Masters of Desert Survival, Can Saguaros Survive Wildfires?

According to the article below, saguaros are being harmed by buffelgrass wildfires. “The biggest threat for saguaros in climate change isn’t the heat or the drought. It’s fire that sweeps in and burns extremely hot.” […]

Cattle Grazing in Scottish Forest

This short film has wonderful images of Highland cattle and explains the importance of their grazing to land management in The Great Trossachs Forest of Scotland.  

It’s the Largest Living Organism on Earth, and It’s Hiding in Plain Sight in Utah

“The largest – and possibly oldest – living organism.