Ecosystem ManagementBrowse Index
Ecosystem management is defined as the implementation of practices to maintain the provision of major ecological goods and services while restoring and conserving natural resources that sustain productive grasslands.
Ecosystem management practices provide strategies for reducing habitat loss and fragmentation, restoring habitat for wildlife and endangered species, improving forage production, maintaining watershed and soil protection and increasing biodiversity conservation at multiple scales. A healthy grassland ecosystem is the backbone of a sustainable ranching operation and contributes to the overall health of the surrounding environment.
These practices can also reduce the need for inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers, increase the productive capacity of the land and reduce production risks. They have the potential to maintain or even increase operational profitability. In addition, adopting such beneficial management practices can increase land value and provide opportunities for alternative income generation through recreation and other niche market activities.
Caring for the Green Zone: Riparian Areas and Grazing Management
Cows and Fish Program, Alberta
This document for agricultural producers covers general grazing management principles and beneficial practices for grazing in riparian areas. Case studies documenting successful grazing in riparian areas are also provided.
Chinook Ranch Ltd.
Located near Longview, Alberta, Chinook Ranch displays a long-term vision of sustainable ranching. During the growing season the cattle graze a maximum of two to five days in one area to prevent overgrazing, and the potential spread of invasive species into native habitats.
Della Ranches Box Country, Utah
Della Ranches is located in Box Elder County in Utah. The ranch “runs about 1,000 cattle on 192,000 acres of private, state and federally owned lands.
Spirit River, Alberta
The Dolen Ranch is located in the Peace River Region of northwestern Alberta. This region often sees harsh winters and has struggled with inconsistent summer precipitation. Conrad Dolen was born and raised in the area and has been farming the ranch’s “North Fork” for the last ten years.
Ejido Casa de Janos
With the implementation of sound management practices, Ejido Casa de Janos seeks to improve both the grazing system and the grassland conditions, which will result in a better habitat for fauna.
Field Grove Ranch Buffalo, Wyoming
The Fieldgrove Family
Ryan and Teresa Fieldgrove’s ranch, located near Buffalo, is a cow/calf range operation consisting of over 10,000 acres of deeded and leased land. Ryan Fieldgrove’s family has ranched in the area for over 125 years with his children representing the fifth generation to be involved.
Funk Farms Trust
Located in Shirley, Illinois, Funk Farms has long prioritized environmental stewardship. As one of the oldest farms in Illinois, management has continually adhered to sustainable practices. The farm has implemented a number of beneficial practices including water management through 35 miles of waterways and soil erosion control through 25 miles of terraces.
Gentry Ranch Partners LLC
Barber County, Kansas
Gentry Ranch Partners LLC is located in the heart of the Great Plains within southwest Kansas. The ranch manages Angus- and Hereford-based cow/calf pairs on an area with a diverse native plant community, abundant wildlife, springs, and caves. Practices carried out through this 1,426-hectare project included firebreak establishment and prescribed burns.
Ginn Family Farm
Located in Clinton, Ontario, the Ginn Family Farm operates a purebred red Angus cow‐calf operation. Over the past 25 years, the farm has taken major steps to create a healthy and productive ecosystem.
Grasslands of Central North America
Food and Agriculture Organization, North America
Chapter 6 of Grasslands of the World focuses on the grasslands management systems of central North America. While a majority of the chapter serves as a historical summary of grassland management practices, it also provides useful general management recommendations…
Grasslands: Towards a North American Conservation Strategy
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
This publication is intended to provide a framework for tri- and binational cooperation between Canada, the United States and Mexico that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of central North American grasslands.
Grazing Lease Stewardship Code of Practice
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development created this document to describe overarching management principles for grazing leaseholders to ensure public rangelands and the ecosystems on which they depend remain productive today and in the future.
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