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:

The Big Burn of 1910 and the Choking of America’s Forests

This article from PERC (Property and Environment Research Center), the free market environmental think tank based in Bozeman, discusses the origin of the public forest management policy that has turned out to be so bad for our national […]

Hunting Is Conservation – Hunting is Sustainable, Helps Species Thrive

   The anti-hunter claim that hunting is not a sustainable model and the populations of hunted species will decline and no longer flourish is simply untrue. NOTE: this post was originally published July 22, […]

You Don’t Need To Be A Rocket Scientist To See What’s Coming via Wildfires This Season!

“Fighting wildfires with wild horses.  

Goats, Brush, Weeds and Wildfire

  At Pitchstone Waters Ranch in Idaho, 5-miles southwest of Yellowstone Park, we use goats and cattle to reduce brush, control “weeds” and  forbs, reduce wildfire and stimulate plant growth on forest floors and meadows.

“Land of the Burning Ground”: The History and Traditions of Indigenous People in Yellowstone

The agencies that manage Yellowstone National Park say that human impact is harmful and “unnatural.” This is another anthropological myth based on ideology rather than natural history and science.   As discussed in the article […]

Pitchstone Waters Roads #1

   Eco-friendly forest thinning and road building next to Yellowstone Park, in Idaho. NOTE: this post was originally published to this site on June 5, 2019.

The Catastrophic Extinction of North American Mammoths and Mastodonts

“One of the great myths of our politically-correct anthropology is that ‘Native Americans” lived in harmony with all wildlife. Early human hunters were closely involved with the Pleistocene Extinctions, just 12,000-years ago. This was the […]

Wildfires and Wildfire Prevention: What’s Working, What’s Not?

Are controlled burns environmental ‘silver bullets’ or environmental disasters? 

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 […]