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Finding Hope in Regenerative Agriculture

Organic Alberta / Western Canadian Holistic Management
Conference Organic Alberta / Western Canadian Holistic
Management Conference

by Courtney White
“The New Ranch operates on the
principle that the natural processes that
sustain wildlife habitat, biological diversity and functioning
watersheds are the same processes that make land productive
for livestock. They are ranches where grasslands are productive
and diverse, where erosion has diminished, where streams and
springs, once dry, now flow, where wildlife is more abundant,
and where landowners are more profitable as a result.”

■ •the capacity of the land for

■ Conservation as “our effort to
understand and preserve this capacity.”
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The New Ranch

■ Important Concepts:

◆ Grazing is a natural process

◆ Disturbance is a critical part of most ecosystems

◆ The key to good range management is
controlling the timing, intensity and frequency
of livestock impact on the land
Comanche Creek
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Vanes, also called Barbs, are
structures that deflect
streamflow outward from the
bank. Vanes made from
wooden post and rocks were
installed at strategic locations
in Comanche Creek to direct
stream flow away from eroding
banks. Such treatments
reduce erosion, promote
streambank vegetation, and
capture sediment and debris at
the base of the slope.
One Rock Dams are designed
to slow the movement of water,
collect soil, nourish vegetation
and prevent sediment from
entering the creek.
28 One Rock Dams were
installed on Comanche Point
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Reinstated 3 meanders to restore original channel
stabilize the channel bed and stop headcutting.
Decrease sediment and improve water
Upland Erosion Control Structures.
Management Tools
The first Quivira cattle
“More than 30% of all greenhouse gases arise from the land use
sector. Thus, no strategy for mitigating global climate change can
be complete or successful without reducing emissions from
agriculture, forestry, and other land uses. Moreover, only land-based
or ‘terrestrial’ carbon sequestration offers the possibility today of
large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,
through plant photosynthesis.”
Five strategies for reducing and sequestering:
(1) Enriching soil carbon;
(2) Farming with perennials;
(3) Climate-friendly livestock production;
(4) Protecting natural areas; and
(5) Restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands.