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We work very hard to maintain the best environmental practices possible on our ranch. We are always trying to find a healthy balance in the land where animals, plants, water, and people can live in harmony together. Sometimes Suki, our dog, likes to disrupt that balance by chasing everything under the sun...But, that's a different story.

Through pasture management, conservation efforts, river and riparian restoration, and wildlife habitat protection, we strive to be the best possible stewards of the land. This is not easy, popular, or cheap; however, we believe that it is essential, and we refuse to compromise these values.

When visiting our ranch, be sure to keep on the lookout for otters, beavers, elk, deer, bears, and a host of singing birds, in addition to all of our own critters that run about. It's a wild place!

Questions & Answers

What are some of the environmental efforts that the ranch is making right now?

We have placed our entire ranch (6 square miles) under a conservation easement that does not allow the land to be subdivided or developed. This will ensure that the land stays in a natural state for generations to come, no matter who owns the title.
In addition to the conservation easement, all 4,000 acres are USDA certified organic, not just the farmable land. Every hill, shrub, tree, and blade of grass is up to the organic standard.

The Scott River runs through our ranch for 2 miles and is a very contentious issue in our valley. We have become certified by an organization called Salmon Safe to demonstrate our safe practice in and around the river for all marine life, vegetation, and water quality. We are the largest producer with the Salmon Safe certification.

We are constantly improving the riparian corridor on our land by planting native trees and shrubs, and implementing safeguards to prevent sediment from entering the waterway. We have also reintroduced a natural meander to our ditches and have planted cover that will harbor beneficial insects and provide a safe passageway for wildlife coming from the hills down to the river for water.

We have installed escape routes on all of our stock tanks and ditch diversions to protect critters that might fall inside. For the birds, we have installed perches across the ranch, and we have changed the bottom wire on our fencing from barbed to smooth to prevent wildlife from getting snagged.

Over our 2 mile stretch of river, the water temperature decreases by 4 degrees. According to California Department of Fish and Game, over 95% of Salmon “reds” (Salmon spawning) occurs on our stretch of the river, and every year we host several new and natural beaver dams.

Don't cows contribute to global warming?

It is true that cows emit methane gas which is on the list of greenhouse gases. However, cows naturally living in the pasture are not a threat.

In their natural environment, eating their natural food source, cows contribute to the balance of the environment. It is only when cows are confined into feedlots and their manure is piled up, hauled off, and dumped that the imbalance occurs. According to the USDA, grazed land stores more carbon in the soil. This increases soil fertility and slows global warming.

What is the best thing about a pasture?

In a feedlot, cattle are often confined in a small area standing inches deep in dirt and their own manure. In the absence of a pasture, the manure piles up and needs to be hauled off. When it is dumped, it pollutes the air with methane gas and can contaminate ground water supplies.

When cows graze in an open, well-managed pasture, their manure is spread evenly over the field, naturally fertilizing the grass. Much of the methane and carbon are absorbed by the grass, reducing greenhouse gas emission and returning them to the soil where they naturally encourage plant growth. Not to mention, the cows love it.

How do I know that your ranch is meeting the best possible environmental practices?

We're glad you asked! For starters, you can take a look at the stringent certifications that we hold: USDA Organic and Salmon Safe. But we still believe that the best way to know for sure is to see for yourself... So what are you waiting for?!

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