From the Ag Journal Online:
The Wisconsin-based conservation organization Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Agricultural Land Trust, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. and Peabody Energy; is proud to name Pipe Springs Ranch of Springfield, Colo. as the recipient of the 2011 Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado.
“The McEndree siblings and their families have a strong connection to, and a great sense of responsibility for, the natural resources that are in their care,” said Brent Haglund, president, Sand County Foundation. “Their commitment to pass these values on to the next generation, through a remarkable amount of agricultural education and outreach, is truly exceptional.”
Siblings Jo Ann McEndree, Kaye Kasza, Steve McEndree and Cathy Tebay are fourth generation ranchers who are committed to leaving a sustainable operation for their descendants. A large part of their land stewardship involved placing pipelines to distribute water across their 14,737- acre ranch. As a result, they created smaller pastures and were able to plant two windbreaks to offer protection for both livestock and wildlife. This allows for shorter grazing periods, which increases the productivity of the soil and plants. This has also resulted in an increase in wildlife. A herd of deer makes its home on the ranch, along with a few elk, foxes and the occasional bear. The population of songbirds and pheasants has also increased dramatically.
Future plans for the ranch include more water lines and fencing to create even smaller pastures, and shorter, more intense grazing periods. By purchasing temporary fencing materials the family will be able to split a section into quarters for grazing purposes. The 4-5 days of grazing per year in each quarter section allow for adequate regrowth of natural grasses during the remainder of the year.
The $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented to Pipe Springs Ranch on June 21 at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention in Steamboat Springs.
More conservation coverage here.