Community Agriculture Alliance: Land stewardship 101 — The Steamboat Pilot & Today

An irrigated hayfield along the lower Yampa River. Photo credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

From the Community Agriculture Alliance via The Steamboat Pilot & Today (Libby Christensen):

Many of you reading this article are fortunate to get to call Routt County home. Clearly after this year, word has gotten out, and we have seen an influx of new folks lucky enough to own land in our community. With this incredible opportunity, comes incredible responsibility.

In an effort to assure that everyone is stewarding this limited resource and to reduce potential conflicts, the Community Agriculture Alliance and CSU Extension are teaming up again to offer the 101 Land Stewardship class.

This course is for folks new to Routt County or to owning land in Routt County, real estate agents and anyone interested in learning more about agriculture and land stewardship. The six-week course is offered on Wednesday evenings, beginning on Sept. 15 through Oct. 20.

A wide variety of topics will be covered throughout the course. Participants will be taught how to identify common plants, weeds, grasses, and trees in the area. The course will cover the relationships between humans, soil, plants, and water.

At the end of the course, participants will be more aware of their surroundings and understand how land management decisions impact the land, water, and people around them.

Grazing and Ranching Stewardship will cover ranching in Routt County including a conversation about the impacts of wildlife on livestock and humans and vice a versa. Local experts, who represent multigenerational land stewards in Routt County, will be on hand to teach the class and to provide real world examples of positive ranch stewardship.

The Water Stewardship class will show learners how both nature and man can alter and/or improve waterways. Participants will be introduced to several different types of irrigation systems and how they work. Local experts will also provide an overview of basic Colorado water law.

In Preparing for Fire, instructors will review what steps you can take to prepare yourself, your animals, and your home for wildfire.

Community Stewardship conversations will focus on how to be a good neighbor, covering proper weed management, fence laws, and the Routt County Master Plan.

Wrapping it all together in our last class Stewardship with a Purpose, we will discuss how soil, water, animals, plants and air should all be considered when making plans to manage property.

Land stewardship is a responsibility that we owe not to the generations before us, but to those who come after us. Our forefathers thought enough of us to take care of the land so that we could use it for our benefit, and we have the opportunity to do the same for the generations who follow us.

The Land Stewardship 101 course will help you learn how to become a better steward of your property, benefiting you, your neighborhood, your community, your children, and anyone else who calls or will call our valley home.

For more information on the Land Stewardship 101 class, or to register, check out the Community Agriculture Alliance’s website http://communityagalliance.org/programs or call 970-879-4370.

Libby Christensen is an extension agent with the Routt County CSU Extension.

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