Category: HABITAT RESTORATION

Rain in the Desert: July 6, 2010

At Circle Ranch, Hudspeth County, far-West Texas,  we get 11″ average rainfall per year. This is 1/2 the normal rainfall in Laredo where much of our Texas Scaled Quail research has been done.  Moreover, West Texas rains, unlike Laredo rains, come mostly in July and August.   South Texas blues have relatively-moist springs: West Texas

Allan Savory at Circle Ranch, June 19, 2009: "I who grew up in the African bush an ardent wildlifer, discovered that I loved the land more than I hated cattle."

Allan Savory is from Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia).  A game biologist, park ranger, guerilla fighter, parliamentarian, exile, rancher and farmer, he has for thirty-five years practiced and taught range science.  Allan developed Holistic Planned Grazing.

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Keylining Bare Ground in Lower Desert

This ground is bare except for creosote, which is now dying as erosion continues, and water function deteriorates.

Planting Cereals in Desert Using Yeomans Plow

The idea of Keyline/Yeomans is to open soil to root growth by causing all water to soak in where it falls. The patterns hold water on the ridges and valley walls for this purpose. This is quite different conceptually from the ‘divert-and-impound’ mindset,  which tends to deal with water after it has already been concentrated.

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Thoughts on Desert Quail and Desert Grazing Offered by Steve Nelle, June 7, 2010

Steve Nelle is highly-respected range and wildlife scientist who works for NRCS.  He sent these papers on the subjects of desert grazing and desert quail management.

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Same Area in May Before 2010 Monsoons

This picture shows what winter moisture did for plants between the furrows.  Area to right in this picture was not subsoiled; obviously it received the same rainfall.

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Our First Treatment With Yeomans Plow: October 2009

The first treatment with our Yeomans Plow.  Treating an area in which desert grass has shifted to tarbush (Flourensia cernua) and bare ground.

Christopher Gill to Editor of Big Bend Sentinel on Elk Removals by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

I felt that several comments made by TPWD Executive Director, Carter Smith, defending elk removals, needed rebuttal. NOTE: The text of a letter to the editor appears in this post.  A PDF of the actual article is also below in this post.

The Circle Ranch Herd Moving to New Pasture

According to the Authors and Sponsors of Habitat Guidelines for Mule Deer,  running cattle according to the principles of Holistic Planned Grazing, as shown here, in large numbers, for very short times in any place, followed by very long recovery periods in which there is no grazing, harms plants and water function.

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Valentine Artist Boyd Elder Sets a Contour

All patterns are plowed on contours which are reset every 200 feet.  The device shown here is an optical transit.  We now use a laser transit which can be operated by one person and which is much faster.