Holistic Management:Partnering with Nature for a Resilient Landscape
With Holistic Management• Understand Nature & partner with it to improve function of the four ecosystem processes (covered soil is the key)• Water Cycle (water infiltration & retention)• Mineral Cycle (the carbon cycle)• Energy Flow (the photosynthetic process)• Community Dynamics (biodiversity & symbiotic relationships)
With Holistic Management• Know what tools are available• Understand how those tools affect the environment around us (ecosystem function)• An adaptive management tool• Decision-making tool focuses on a whole system approach for more effective management of natural resources (Soil, Habitat Improvement, Water Infiltration, CO2 sequestration)
Reported Results Results• 300% increase in plant species Note: These results are compiled from multiple• 100% increase in soil carbon research sources (some on farm by the producers• 400% increase in stocking rate themselves). Not everyone who practices Holistic• 40% decrease in labor Management has achieved these results• 50% decrease in bare ground• 800% increase in soil permeability• 300% increase in profitability (some as high as 1400%)• 500% increase in riparian bird population• 900% increase in rooting depth of plants
Dawley Ranch - 1992 “With Holistic Management planned grazing, our 100-yard- wide gravelly creek beds are becoming riparian jungles – thickets of cottonwoods, willows, vines, and grasses. Our local Fish and Game biologist estimates that no fewer than two dozen species of vertebrates are utilizing the gravel bed, and over 160 the riparian jungle. Now the creek flows until September and never becomes completely dry. A near term goal is to have trout in it again; a long term goal is for salmon to spawn in it.“—Frank Dawley
New South Wales after Rainstorm Water Water coming on to coming off Holistically Holistically Managed Managed land land The next slide shows why!
Cleaning Power of 500 AcresUpstream from holistically Downstream from holisticallymanaged property managed property
Brussels Farm, South AfricaOn Brussels Farm near Vryburg, South Africa, Dick & Judy Richardsonhad a fire that burned a large portion of their ranch in August 2002.
Brussels Farm, South Africa But after two years of planned grazing, their land had recovered with goodregrowth andground cover.
Brussels Farm, South Africa This photo taken of Brussels (right side) in April 2004 demonstrates how the Brussels’ property compares to their neighbors’ (on left) also burned by the fire. The Richardsons used high animal impact (500 head of cattle strip-grazed on this 100-acre section) to jump start the lands healing process.
Montana Rangeland Restoration Wayne Burleson has worked with rancher Don Schaules in Montana to reclaim bare rangeland. In the right hand, Don holds a plant dug from a pasture one year after animals have been used to improve the health of the land. In the left hand, he holds the same species, Western Wheatgrass, dug on the same day from an area that had not been grazed for three years. The plants grew 30 feet apart from each other, but the unhealthy, dying specimen in Dons left hand has not had the invigorating effect of planned grazing.
Montana Rangeland RestorationThis photo was taken in 1986 on some bare rangeland Don wanted to improve.
Montana Rangeland RestorationHeres the same area in May 1989 after Don used 600 cow-calf pairs to revitalize the landscape and provide a healthy habitat for a perennial grass species, Western Wheatgrass, to grow.
Nevada Mine Reclamation Success Played out mine lands before treatment
Nevada Mine Reclamation Success In 1990, on a Nevada mine settling ponds bare slopes, team members fed 30 tons of mixed hay to 600 head of cattle on 10 acres of the dam wall. They also seeded a native mix of grasses, forbs, and brush. Oneyear later after a 6-inch rainfall they grew 6,800 pounds per acre of dry matter. The treatment cost $300/acre compared to the usual $3,000-5,000/acre cost for reclamation work. See the results on the next page.
Montana in a Serious Drought Year Lessresilience Greater Ineffective resiliencewater cycle Effective water cycle Few animals 700 head cattle wandering once a year year-round
Simulating Nature Using Cattle – Babbitt Ranches in Arizona Same gate400 cattle bunched on Same place after planttwo acres for few hours recovery period
Land Regeneration with Livestock • Animal impact : – breaks hard soil surfaces by chipping to allow water in – buries seed and compacts soil to give good seed/soil contact – lays dead plant material on soil as cover and mulch • Grazing: – Turns old plants into dung & urine (fertilizer) – Pruning the plants, results in root die back which feeds soil life. • Makes sense to any person who gardens
Resilient Landscapes Green area is holistically managed land. It is not irrigated.