How can grazing heal land?

Conventional wisdom says grazing damages land -- yet the same land a few cattle or sheep damage today often supported thousands or millions of wild grazers less than 200 years ago.

John Mix Stanley, circa 1855
thousands of bison

Grazing management for healthy soils


Christine Jones
Fig. 1. A grass plant's roots are about the same size as its top.

Growing community power

Here in northeast Oregon's Wallowa County, our local economy has depended on the export of commodities — lumber, cattle, and grain. People feel powerless, as if their future is being dictated by outside markets and money, urban environmentalists, and federal regulations.

When you are powerless, you can't hide the fact from the younger generation. They leave. By nature they want a chance to play, on the "A" team perhaps, and to swim with the current instead of against it.

Happenings around the region (1998)

Moving toward the big picture
in Colville

The Colville National Forest is currently undergoing a master planning effort intended to build a flexible organization that will be adaptable to a sudden change in budget and program of work. Last month the Colville National Forest brought Jeff Goebel to facilitate a consensus workshop dealing with issues of scarcity.

Enterprise Facilitation and Holistic Management working together

WSU/Kellogg project partners with Sirolli Institute

When he heard Ernesto Sirolli describe his Enterprise Facilitation model, Holistic Management consultant Roland Kroos called Washington State University (WSU)/Kellogg project director Don Nelson. After learning more, Don attended a 5-day training in Enterprise Facilitation in Minnesota (USA).

Helping people manage land better

Helping suburban ranchette owners manage land better; protecting farmland with land trusts.

Near Ellensburg, Tammy Yeakey of Washington's Department of Natural Resources is helping suburban landowners deal constructively with grazing and watershed issues.

Sun East is a residential subdivision in the foothills north of Ellensburg. The developers began selling 20-acre tracts in the 1970s, primarily as recreational homesites, as much of Sun East is without power or telephone lines.

Happenings around the region, Sept 1997

Joel Herrmann
Joel Herrmann in his camp in Owhyhee County, Idaho, USA.

The big news is that people are examining their thought processes and beliefs, and changing the way they make decisions. The following represents a small fraction of what is going on in the Northwest when people set out to manage wholes rather than parts. It's just the tip of the iceberg.

Economic development as personal and community growth

HASTINGS, MINNESOTA--For 20 years, Lawrence Belk has taught and coached gymnastics. He's managed gymnastics clubs, coached school teams, and been involved in every aspect of the sport. His dream has been to own and operate his own gymnastics studio.

Oregon Country Beef: growing a solution to economic, environmental, and social needs

[this interview was published in 2000. Since then, the cooperative has expanded beyond Oregon, reverted to its original name of Country Natural Beef, and includes well over 100 ranchers in the western states.]

Reducing grasshopper infestation using animal impact

Joel Herrmann herded cattle for Joe Black and Sons out of Bruneau, Idaho, for eight years. In 1995-96, on a BLM winter range southeast of the Bruneau Sand Dunes, Joel was operating with a holistic goal that he had written, and a biological grazing plan that he worked with on a computer. The plan was carried out by herding, control of water points, and some fencing. During this time Joel did a fair amount of photographic monitoring, as well as several monitoring transects.

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