Over 109,000 acres of Montana rangeland, from seven different ranches in the state, have now become certified by the nationally distinctive Undaunted Stewardship® program.
Managed jointly by Montana State University, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Undaunted Stewardship® has earned national recognition for its unique approach to environmental stewardship and historic site preservation. A guidance council, representing various conservation and agriculture groups, helps oversee the multi-faceted program.
The seven newly certified ranches collectively contain 109,416 acres and are located across Montana, from Big Sandy to Bloomfield (north of Glendive). The owners and managers of these lands can now call themselves “Undaunted Land Stewards.” They join 59 other participants in the program that is preserving historic sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail and helping ranch families improve both the stewardship and the economic performance of their ranches. To date, nearly 1.2 million deeded, private lease, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Forest Service and state-owned acres are managed to meet standards set by the Undaunted Stewardship® program.
To become “Undaunted Land Stewards,” ranches have to meet a series of grazing and other land management standards to ensure the long-term sustainability and productivity of their ranch lands. Before a ranch can become certified as an “Undaunted Land Steward,” a written grazing land management plan including rangeland monitoring is developed to meet the goals of the ranch and protect the natural resources. Certified Undaunted Land Stewards demonstrate how ranching can maintain and sustain natural productivity for generations to come.
Carl Wambolt directs the Undaunted Stewardship® land use program and coordinates a team of range scientists at Montana State University-Bozeman. The team visits and inventories the ranch, and then helps the ranchers develop written grazing plans. They also help each rancher establish a range monitoring program to collect baseline data that ranchers can use to judge, refine, and continually improve their land management.
“Through the Undaunted Stewardship® program, we are assisting ranchers all over Montana to continue being superior, undaunted land stewards,” said Carl Wambolt. “There is no other voluntary, incentive-based, private-land stewardship program like this in the nation.”
The ranches that completed the certification process in 2009 are:
Frank Klempel, Inc., Bloomfield
Gene Barnard Ranch, Malta
Kalsta Ranch, Glen
Lyle Sackman Ranch, Fallon
Midway Ranch, Big Sandy
Nelson’s Spring Creek Ranch, Livingston
Rostad & Rostad, Inc., White Sulphur Springs
Source: Montana Stockgrowers Association
Posted by Haylie Shipp