Long-billed Curlew flapping its wings.
Long-billed Curlew flapping its wings.

Long-billed Curlew. Photo: Richard Derevan/Audubon Photography Awards
Long-billed Curlew. Photo: Richard Derevan/Audubon Photography Awards

Conservation Ranching Initiative

Curlews, Ranching, and Reconsideration

A Wyoming rancher discusses the surprising benefits of an alternative form of grazing.

“It took him a while to get me on board. I’ll tell you the truth, I balked at this grazing stuff. I thought he was loony bins…But I've been to the places he uses this kind of grazing and…there is something to it…He’s convinced me...”

Those are the words of Perry Askin of Askin Land and Livestock. He said them during a tour of an Audubon-certified ranch as part of the Ranching for Profit grazing workshop hosted by Audubon Rockies in Lusk, Wyoming, on June 29, 2021. Askin was commenting on how his son, Sage, has convinced him to try a different form of grazing that can help improve grassland resilience and bird habitat. (Don’t miss his full interview below).

The West is in a historic drought and ranchers are reeling from the effects. They’re seeing range conditions decline and birds become scarce in these open spaces. Audubon recognized this threat to ranchlands and the birds that need them to survive. So in June, along with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, we hosted a series of workshops facilitated by Ranch Management Consultants that were geared towards helping producers improve rangeland conditions and productivity even in times of drought.

Taught by Dallas Mount, the owner of Ranch Management Consultants, the Ranching for Profit workshops helped participants gain a better understanding of how to manage their land during difficult times. These premiere workshops are considered by many to be the epitome of ranch management, and we were proud to help bring them to Wyoming producers for free. With an eye on increasing rangeland resiliency through a deep dive into rangeland ecology, grazing management, and pasture recovery, more than 70 participants in three counties learned, discussed, and formulated strategies to deal with this historic drouth.

We’re excited to see grazing practices adapting to meet today’s challenges, one rancher at a time.

Related

What Does Habitat Look Like on a Ranch?
Conservation Ranching Initiative

What Does Habitat Look Like on a Ranch?

Ranches are home to much more than cows, especially when managed for habitat diversity.

Read more

Monitoring on Conservation Ranches
Conservation Ranching Initiative

Monitoring on Conservation Ranches

Audubon conducts bird, plant, and soil surveys to ensure conservation success.

Read more

May Ranch
Conservation Ranching Initiative

May Ranch

Discover the biodiversity and passion for conservation on this Colorado ranch certified by Audubon's Conservation Ranching Initiative.

Read more

How you can help, right now