Category: HABITAT RESTORATION

Circle Ranch - Holistic Herding

Holistic Herding at Erosion Source

Often I have been told by planned-grazing skeptics that what we do at Circle with cows is only possible because of unique terrain features, expensive fence and water systems not available to others, and even that Circle Ranch gets more rain than next-door-neighbor ranches! Planned grazing is succesful anywhere it has been tried, including BLM

Circle Ranch - Cows and Bighorn Sheep

Cows And Desert Bighorn Sheep

The desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is one of the four subspecies of desert bighorn sheep that occur in North America.  The desert bighorn is named for the American naturalist, Edward William Nelson and is found in the desert Southwest and Northern Mexico. Experts today say that prior to European settlement, there were 1.5

Circle Ranch - Grazing the Impossible

Grazing the Impossible by “Cowboy Bob” Kinford

Since my last post, we changed our grazing plan to include grazing Giant Sacaton, which most people think cattle will not eat.  There is more about that here. Other than a problem with the water that had the cattle spread out, searching for water,  the cattle have been generally staying in the areas I put

Circle Ranch - Sacaton

Sacaton, Cows and Fire

A characteristic of high-desert Southwestern grasslands are draws filled with Giant Sacaton (Sporoblus wrightii).  These majestic grass plants cover millions of acres in far-West Texas and New Mexico. At Circle we have several sacaton draws.  They encompass thousands of acres.

Circe Ranch - Grazing Giant Sacaton by "Cowboy Bob" Kinford

Grazing Giant Sacaton at Circle Ranch by “Cowboy Bob” Kinford

Normally sacaton grass is burned off and grazed early in the year as cattle “refuse” to eat it when it gets taller.  Just out of curiosity, I placed roughly half of the 420 cows into a sacaton draw. The results are pretty dramatic and show that cattle really like this grass when it is at

Circle Ranch - Low-Stress Loose-Herding

Easier and Cheaper Holistic Planned Grazing: Low-Stress Loose-Herding at Circle Ranch Pt.1

A frequent complaint about planned grazing is that it is too costly, and hard to implement. This winter, Circle Ranch is running 450 mother cows and their calves.  We are ‘loose herding’ rather than concentrating with electric fences.  This method of planned grazing offers a cheaper and easier way of bringing periodic animal impact to

Circle Ranch - Cows and Pronghorn

Using Cows to Improve Wildlife Habitat and Increase Pronghorn

This is the second in a series about how domestic animals like cattle can help wildlife and habitat in desert grasslands.  Our first introduced Cows and Quail, Albuquerque-based Holistic Management International’s new range and wildlife program which focused on quail. Our topic in this article is the most characteristic large mammal of far-West Texas and

Circle Ranch - Cows and Quail

Cows & Quail

Cows and Quail was a successful presentation on the use of domestic animals to help wildlife and habitat.  39 ranchers managing 530,000 acres attended. Here is a summary of the event:

Circle Ranch - Pronghorn Decline

Explaining Pronghorn Decline: The Answer is Hidden in Plain Sight

Pronghorn is an iconic American native species and, the only large game animal in the United States which evolved on this continent.  In the days of the vast buffalo herds, pronghorn numbers possibly approached 50 million: they may have outnumbered bison!  In those days these animals were found from Saskatchewan to Mexico, and from Oregon into Baja California.

Circle Ranch - Sacaton

Science and Range Scientists

When we bought Circle Ranch in 1999 it had been continuously ranched since about 1881, using domestic livestock like horses, sheep, goats, and cattle.  Our intention was not to graze.  We had been taught by the range “experts” that if you love your land, you protect it from livestock; if you must run cattle, run