It Starts With The Land

Historical records show this land was characterized by lush wetlands, riparian vegetation and high groundwater tables. Today the ranch is much drier than it once was, but through regenerative land management we will bring life back to the land.

We are here to restore this land, protect its rugged beauty, habitat, wildlife and return it to ecological health. We are here to connect it to larger ecosystems in a key habitat corridor from Mexico to Canada, by ensuring the land, water, and resources are healthy and productive. We draw on the land ethic of the indigenous people who stewarded this landscape for thousands of years. We see our community as not only the people around us, but also the soil, water, flora and fauna.

“It’s not the cow, it’s the how.”

Ranching with regenerative practices makes the land healthier. Too often cattle and livestock generally are presented as the enemy of environmental health. But we know “it’s not the cow, it’s the how.” How you manage cattle on the land determines whether they’ll help to heal the ecosystem or further degrade it. We are using cattle to mimic the grazing patterns of the herds of elk and bison that once moved across American grasslands. These herds were dependent on healthy grasslands, and so too were the grasslands dependent on herds of grazing animals. Grasses and herbivores coevolved and we need to restore that relationship to heal these ecosystems.

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Redefining Conservation

The old conservation paradigm seeks to remove people and livestock from the land. However, scientists and land managers are demonstrating that we can’t just walk away and expect these landscapes to heal themselves. Human activity has so disrupted these natural processes that degradation will continue if we don’t actively seek to solve the problem. People and the livestock they manage are necessary to restore these ecological processes for our benefit and for the benefit of the wildlife we share this landscape with.

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It is because of these things that we are also a Guest Ranch. We wish to share this large western landscape and all it has to offer. The Ranch showcases activities centered on enjoying the land, water, and wildlife. The more we can share the urgency of working together to help keep landscapes healthy and connected, the better. We need a wider net of people to become everyday advocates for regenerative land practices and policy.

Post Fire Restoration

The High Lonesome Ranch understands that wildfire is a natural, and in many cases, necessary part of the ecological process. These events were historically smaller and more frequent in scope, resulting in the ability of ecosystems, wildlife, and ranching operations to adapt and improve as a result. Fire suppression over the last 100 years has resulted in an overstock of fuels and a greater susceptibility to larger fires with extreme impacts.

The Ranch is adapting to the changed landscape and we are excited to see how our practices bring the land back to life. We have already seen how fire-adapted plants are thriving, and are watching as the bears, elk, deer, beavers, birds and more move back in. The cattle have become an even more important tool to help guide this process of ecological regeneration and rehabilitation.

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Audubon Conservation Ranching

Audubon Conservation Ranching

The Audubon Certified bird friendly seal recognizes lands managed to promote birds and biodiversity. Until now, like a fencepost minus a meadowlark, something was missing. Now appearing on the freshly updated seal at a grocer near you: a grazing cow, blooming coneflower, pollinating butterfly, and singing meadowlark, a foursome that better visually represents the 3.5 million acres now in bird friendly land management through Audubon Conservation Ranching.

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