Livestock

In North America, vast herds of grazing animals used to roam.

Our rangeland ecosystems evolved under this high intensity, short duration grazing.

Nomadic herds no longer range from north to south and back again, but with careful management livestock can fill the void. Well-managed livestock are a useful tool for rangeland, forest and fisheries restoration. Instead of being a threat, well-managed livestock can reinvigorate landscapes that have devolved into barren unproductivity, helping restore other essential ecological processes along the way.

Livestock, on the range, efficiently convert the sun’s energy locked within plants into edible protein. Livestock, in intensive confinement, provide a haven for problems, ranging from their own behavior and health including the rise of disease, to environmental concerns such as non-point source pollution arising from collected waste.

Latest articles

Read more about the benefits offered by domestic animals:

Bison Bunch Up to Protect Calves

Over millions of years, rangelands have evolved under grazing by nomadic herds that travel in mass, bunched up to protect both young and adults from predators. And, plants have evolved to need this. This observation […]

Wolf Species Rebounds in Southwest, Angering Ranchers

The success of the Mexican gray wolf reintroductions is great news. Limited wolf hunting would change wolf behavior,  making wolves less of a nuisance, according to ranchers quoted in the article below. Wolf advocates should get […]

Using Goats to Open an Idaho Forest

At Pitchstone Waters near Yellowstone Park in Idaho, we use goats to clear brush, weeds, and stimulate grasses on forest floors. Sixth in a series.   Goats Grazing Idaho Forests from Christopher Gill on Vimeo.  

Soil-Carbon Cowboys

A new documentary series in 10 parts (paddocks) directed by Peter Byck …please watch soil-carbon cowboys first.       

Controlling Weeds in Idaho

A Forb is a herbaceous, flowering plant other than grass. Unwanted forbs are generally dubbed “weeds.” Herbicides used for “weed” control almost always harm habitat and wildlife. On Pitchstone Waters, we manage our weeds unconventionally—to […]

First Bison Calf

The gestation period for the American bison is 9 1/2 months. Under normal conditions, cows have their calves from mid-April through June. Cows generally have one calf per year, but twins may occur very rarely.Calves […]

Scientists Disagree on Bison Impacts to Yellowstone’s Northern Range

“According to Yellowstone’s senior bison biologist who is quoted below, Yellowstone is the only place in North America with a complete set of predators and herbivores – both of which shape their habitat in ways […]

Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions

According to the article below—and the study on which it is based—humans have caused the extinction of many large animals over the past 100,000 years. This has changed ecosystems greatly, generally for the worse.   […]

Why This Cattle Farmer Moves His Cows Every Day

Methane emissions from cattle contribute to climate change – but Will Harris says he has a solution.

How Beef Eaters in Cities Are Draining Rivers in the American West

Paraphrasing the authors below, “The biggest user of river water by far, is not lawns and showers, but agriculture. New research shows that across the Western United States, a third of all consumed water goes […]

Stewardship with Vision – Episode 5: David Spicer

Quoting the producers of the video below, “David Spicer’s leadership in restoring springs, wetlands, and riparian areas on his ranch and beyond has helped keep a species from being listed under the ESA and supported […]

Mountain Goat Removal Temporarily Closes Areas Of Grand Teton National Park

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 […]

The Resistance to Holistic Wildlife Management

Across the West as well as in Texas, agencies, universities, governmental and conservation organizations resist holistic wildlife and agricultural management practices. Most Western public grazing rules make holistic grazing very difficult if not impossible  In this […]

Costs that Discouraged Rotational Grazing Practices on the USA’s Great Plains

As discussed in the paper below, the expenses of fencing and water improvements are barriers to planned grazing. The authors suggest ways to overcome these.

Massive Juniper Tree-Cutting Project Aims to Aid Sage Grouse

According to the article below: “Overall, sage grouse numbers have dwindled from an estimated 16 million before European settlement of the West to no more than 500,000 today in 11 western states. The project that […]

Deer Culling Does Not Improve Deer: Common Sense Habitat Management Does

In a landmark 13-year study based on 15,000 animal trappings, the Comanche (Farias) Ranch near Eagle Pass, Texas, has proven that culling of so-called “inferior” bucks, including spikes, does not increase antler size in wild […]

Did the IPCC Say We Must Quit Eating Meat?

The climate activists are widely reporting that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has  declared that we all have to be vegetarians.  But is that true?   As quoted below, IPCC’s 107 climate-change gurus recently […]

Stewardship with Vision – Episode 2: Malpai Borderlands Group

In the high desert of southern Arizona and New Mexico, almost a million acres of important habitats and nearly 30 at-risk species are being protected and conserved…by a coalition of ranchers who manage from “The […]

Rotational Cattle Grazing to Restore Degraded Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands and Promote Watershed Health

Describing the Mimms Ranch in Marfa, Texas, the authors write, “The Foundation aims for practical conservation, with the belief that restored grasslands improve overall watershed health, resources for native wildlife, and continued support of ranching.”

Rancher Focuses On Keeping His Land Healthy

Plants and animals evolved together over many millions of years. In so doing, they grew to need each other. As a result, plants need animals as much as animals need plants. This is the basic […]

Special Report: Cowboys or Buffalo? Critical Mass

Not everyone is a fan of the American Prairie Reserve. In the article below, opponents explain why.