Wyoming’s Ucross Ranch Shows Continued Improvement in 2014
Posted on: Sep 14, 2014
The Ucross Ranch near Clearmont, Wyoming won the Society for Range Management's National Excellence in Rangeland Stewardship for 2014. The ranch has shown strong improvement in rangeland health, riparian condition, wildlife habitat, and revenue generation capacity since grazing management practices were altered in 2002. Several posts on this Ranch Advisory news page have portrayed those changes, and the improvements have continued in 2014. During a recent visit, the ranch displayed strong progress in the good precipitation year of 2014. Photos below show the findings.
The top photo was taken in 2004 and shows one of the pastures containing a rangeland health monitoring site. The photo below that was taken from the exact same spot as the 2004 photo, but was taken 2014. 2004 was below average precipitation, and the pasture had not been grazed when the photo was taken. Note the strong increase in vegetative productivity between the two sample years.
Gullies and draws on the ranch showed strong grass growth, and the one featured in the photo below was even running water in late summer 2014. At this ranch, the water cycle was highly effective, producing high quality forage late in the growing season. Such growth greatly advances the ranch's objectives of providing a good revenue source from livestock grazing, as well as high quality wildlife habitat.