Spring at the Ranch
Spring has arrived at the Shape, and aren't we glad. The blackbrush is in full bloom, the guajillo is budding in anticipation of the honey bees, and the bison herd is feasting on the best tallow weed crop we have had in years. In short, 2012 is starting out with the strength, vigor, and beauty that this land is famous for. However, given the weather cycles and vagaries that this land is also known for we have elected to implement some management practices that will enhance our long term sustainability.
Yesterday we were awarded a grant by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to construct a bison proof cross fence that will divide the ranch roughly in half. Having two pastures will allow for them to be alternately rested from grazing. This will also give us the opportunity to selectively use fire as a means of invigorating our native grasses.
Finally, we have decided to cull our herd significantly and concentrate more on the genetic integrity of the bison we are privileged to call ours. The goal is to increase the number of Southern Plains bison that were indigenous to Dimmit County and all of Texas. Fortunately we are able to do this because in 2008 we purchased four members from the only known herd remaining of pureSouthern Plains bison. These bulls came from the famous Mary Annand Charles Goodnight herd that is now the Texas State herd at Caprock Canyons State Park. Thanks to the foresight of the Parks and Wildlife Department who administers this herd we now have the seed to replant what was here over a thousand years ago. Onward.