Conservation is our mission. Rangeland and water are the Ranch’s most substantial natural resources, and our management revolves around the philosophy of protecting it. We recognize that grazing our cattle is integral to maintaining this land’s health and sustainability.
Historically, native bison grazed this area, and the plants evolved to be most productive with heavy use followed by long periods of rest. We accomplish our objective by implementing this same natural cycle through the proven method of planned rotational grazing. The process involves continually moving our cattle throughout the different pastures, and only grazing them for short periods of time before allowing the pasture to rest for a long break. We strategically place water tanks and mineral tubs in areas that will have the most benefit to the cattle while simultaneously preserving the natural eco-system. This management style allows the vegetation to thrive, which translates into more water being captured and retained in the soil rather than simply draining off. Riparian areas along Garber Creek have been fenced off and are only grazed at specific times to protect these diverse riparian communities. With the improved water quality and the minimizing of erosion, these areas have exploded with life and provide excellent wildlife habitat, to include being home to some rare and threatened species. Beaver dams have increased significantly, and water fowl can always be found along the creek.
The Colorado Natural Heritage Program has recognized the Ranch for these riparian areas, and in 2011the Ranch participated in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program. In recognition of these conservation efforts, the Ranch was selected by Douglas County to receive that year’s Outstanding District Conservationist of the Year award.
When these natural resources are managed carefully and wisely, the result promotes effective nutrient cycles in both the water and the soil creating high-quality forage for both wildlife and livestock.