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Ranching and Wetlands Can Go Together

By   /  August 22, 2016  /  2 Comments

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“Ranching, conservation, ecological restoration, these things  are not diametrically opposed. In fact they go very well together. And I think the 10 years we’ve spent on this project demonstrate that and provide an opportunity for other ranchers, other landowners to look at this and think about ways they might be able to do something similar.”

– Jeff Laszlo, Granger Ranches

Jeff Lazlo of Granger Ranches and Jon Jourdonnais of PPL MT, review Phase IV of O'Dell Project plans during construction in 2008.

Jeff Lazlo of Granger Ranches and Jon Jourdonnais of PPL MT, review Phase IV of O’Dell Project plans during construction in 2008.

Jeff Laszlo says that ranches are deceptive. “You look at them, you see a lot of land and a lot of cattle, but what you don’t see is everything else that depends on this landscape.” He believes that, even though it’s very difficult to do, it’s his job as a rancher to do as good a job as he can so that all those things that depend on the landscape can thrive.  In this first episode of “Stewardship With a Vision” from Western Landowners Alliance, he describes how he worked with a wide range of partners to restore wetlands on his ranch to do just that.

The wetlands are important to wildlife and fish, but it turns out restoring them was also good for the ranch operation. The Granger Ranches is a cow/calf operation running about 400 mother cows. They raise hay to feed the cows and by restoring the wetlands, they’ve restored the hydrology of their floodplain pastures which has made them more productive. So even though they’ve restricted grazing from the most sensitive wetland areas, they’re producing more forage than they did before the restoration.

Finally the restoration has been good for the local community that relies on recreation, tourism and wildlife. “We have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to the community to be good stewards of all of those things,” says Laszlo.

Take 8 minutes to watch this video. It’s beautifully done, and you’ll appreciate meeting Jeff, seeing the landscape he works in and his love for ranching.

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  • Published: 3 months ago on August 22, 2016
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  • Last Modified: August 22, 2016 @ 12:15 pm
  • Filed Under: Consider This

About the author

editor and contributor

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

2 Comments

  1. Frank Egan says:

    G’day ,what a ‘great’ article.I have been trying for years to get this point across,Thank you On Pasture for bringing it to your readers attention.Frank from Downunder.

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