Ranchland Conversion
        Rangeland Conservation
             Presented by James Honey,
                 Sustainable No...
“Ranchland” Defined

 Landscape being managed primarily
 for raising grazing livestock such as
 cattle or sheep for the pr...
Questions for Consideration
• What is the state of ranching in the West?
• What is happening to Western ranchlands?
• Who ...
Taking Stock
• The Interior West is about 640
  million acres.
• Nearly 109 million acres are
  private ranchland.
• 300 m...
Taking Stock
• Approx. 85% of the Interior West’s
  public lands are grazed for ranching.
• There are 3.2 million cattle r...
What’s Happening to
Western Ranchlands?
• Difficult economics
• Land conversion
In the past 30 years,
       the population of
      13 Western states
 has risen by more than 47%.

That’s twice the grow...
Economics of Ranching in the U.S.
• 80% of cattle is processed by four companies.
• 15% of feedlots feed 70% of cattle.
• ...
“Ranching is not efficient nor
competitive; the rancher is not a
   rational economic actor.”
Conversion of U.S. Ranchlands
• Ranches change hands all the time,
  they always have.
• Over the past decade there’s been...
“You either have to be
     rich or crazy to buy land
if you aren’t going to develop it.”
Who are today’s
Western ranchers?
Traditional Western Ranchers
• Many are over 55 years old.
• Xxx
• Xxx
• Xxx
Many ranchers do not consider
profit to be the most important goal
     in terms of why they ranch.

     Tradition, value...
Demographic change
• Xxx
• Xxx
• Xxx
• Xxx
quot;Amenity-rich areas are growing and likely to grow more over the next decade.quot;
FROM AFT>>>
http://www.farmland.org/resources/rockymtn/documents/Strategic%20Ranchland%20in%20the%20Rocky%20Mountain%20Wes...
Population and Land Growth in the Rocky Mountain West: 1960–1990.
Land consumption data for Arizona and Nevada were unavai...
•   JAMES:
•   Link to Tanaka piece: http://agecon.uwyo.edu/WAEA/WEForum/WEF-Vol.4-No.2-Fall2005.pdf

•   Also check this ...
Ranchland Conversion, Rangeland Conservation
Ranchland Conversion, Rangeland Conservation
Ranchland Conversion, Rangeland Conservation
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Ranchland Conversion, Rangeland Conservation

  1. 1. Ranchland Conversion Rangeland Conservation Presented by James Honey, Sustainable Northwest November 15th, 2007
  2. 2. “Ranchland” Defined Landscape being managed primarily for raising grazing livestock such as cattle or sheep for the production of meat, wool, leather, and other associated products.
  3. 3. Questions for Consideration • What is the state of ranching in the West? • What is happening to Western ranchlands? • Who are today’s Western ranchers? • Who will be “ranching” in the 21st century? • What do we want to do about it?
  4. 4. Taking Stock • The Interior West is about 640 million acres. • Nearly 109 million acres are private ranchland. • 300 million acres are public land.
  5. 5. Taking Stock • Approx. 85% of the Interior West’s public lands are grazed for ranching. • There are 3.2 million cattle raised annually in the Interior West, about 7% of the National total.
  6. 6. What’s Happening to Western Ranchlands? • Difficult economics • Land conversion
  7. 7. In the past 30 years, the population of 13 Western states has risen by more than 47%. That’s twice the growth rate of the U.S. as a whole.
  8. 8. Economics of Ranching in the U.S. • 80% of cattle is processed by four companies. • 15% of feedlots feed 70% of cattle. • Ranchers’ production costs are increasing while consumers’ food costs are decreasing. • Only 5% - 30% of ranch value can be attributed to cattle production.
  9. 9. “Ranching is not efficient nor competitive; the rancher is not a rational economic actor.”
  10. 10. Conversion of U.S. Ranchlands • Ranches change hands all the time, they always have. • Over the past decade there’s been a 1.6 million acre decrease in ranchlands per year. • Of this 1.6 million acre decrease, 45% are converted to urban types of use.
  11. 11. “You either have to be rich or crazy to buy land if you aren’t going to develop it.”
  12. 12. Who are today’s Western ranchers?
  13. 13. Traditional Western Ranchers • Many are over 55 years old. • Xxx • Xxx • Xxx
  14. 14. Many ranchers do not consider profit to be the most important goal in terms of why they ranch. Tradition, values, culture, generational inheritance, and “a good place to raise a family” top out for most.
  15. 15. Demographic change • Xxx • Xxx • Xxx • Xxx
  16. 16. quot;Amenity-rich areas are growing and likely to grow more over the next decade.quot;
  17. 17. FROM AFT>>> http://www.farmland.org/resources/rockymtn/documents/Strategic%20Ranchland%20in%20the%20Rocky%20Mountain%20West.pdf Help Protect Our Western Heritage and Ranching Landscapes - Support efforts to increase the profitability of ranching. Buy local beef, lamb and other agricultural products. There is no ranchland without ranchers. - Ranches produce a wide range of ecological goods and services. Support conservation programs that compensate ranchers for growing wildlife habitat, controlling the spread of noxious weeds and other ecosystem services. - The ranchlands on this map are a limited regional resource. Promote efforts to help reduce the loss of the most productive ranchlands in the Rockies at the state and local levels. This analysis is the first step. - Promote stabilizing the land base. Encourage public finance efforts that keep ranchland in production. State and local purchase of development rights programs such as the Montana Agricultural Heritage Program and the Gallatin County Open Lands program are critical for maintaining working landscapes in the Rockies.
  18. 18. Population and Land Growth in the Rocky Mountain West: 1960–1990. Land consumption data for Arizona and Nevada were unavailable.
  19. 19. • JAMES: • Link to Tanaka piece: http://agecon.uwyo.edu/WAEA/WEForum/WEF-Vol.4-No.2-Fall2005.pdf • Also check this out… • http://www.farmland.org/resources/rockymtn/ranchmap.asp

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