Grantee Spotlight: The Nature Conservancy in Colorado Sustainable Grazing Lands Program

We are very excited to support the work of The Nature Conservancy in Colorado’s Sustainable Grazing Lands Program with a three-year general operating grant. Our goal with this grant is to support a pilot program that will be replicated across Colorado and other arid regions in the Intermountain West.

TNC’s Sustainable Grazing Lands program works at the nexus of all three of our areas of focus, Food Systems, Climate, and Land & Water. By helping ranchers in Colorado implement adaptive grazing practices, TNC is working to protect the heritage of ranching in Colorado, improve soil health, regenerate natural grassland habitats, and engage a new generation of ranchers.

Read more about the TNC’s Sustainable Grazing Lands Program in Colorado

TNC’s Sustainable Grazing Lands pilot program will be carried out through the following strategies:

- An smartphone app and online tool called LandPKS that currently measures soil and vegetation will be enhanced to help ranchers monitor evaluate wildlife habitat potential and measure livestock forage utilization on their land.

-Adaptive Management workshops for ranchers will emphasize planning for drought conditions and climate change throughout Colorado, based on a curriculum developed in partnership with Holistic Management International (HMI) while incorporating key elements of holistic management. TNC also plans to offer several workshops outside of Colorado to further the impact of this program.

Read more about TNC’s partnership with HMI

Nick Trainor is the ranch manager at Lowry Ranch. Lowry Ranch was formerly used a missile testing site, and still has many uses. Nick ranges cattle on all 25,400 acres of the ranch. His holistic management techniques have brought back native grassland habitat and improved water retention, leading to better economic outcomes particularly in dry years.  Photo Credit: New Belgium Family Foundation

Nick Trainor is the ranch manager at Lowry Ranch. Lowry Ranch was formerly used a missile testing site, and still has many uses. Nick ranges cattle on all 25,400 acres of the ranch. His holistic management techniques have brought back native grassland habitat and improved water retention, leading to better economic outcomes particularly in dry years.

Photo Credit: New Belgium Family Foundation

William Burnidge (center) manages the Sustainable Grazing Lands program at The Nature Conservancy  Photo Credit: New Belgium Family Foundation

William Burnidge (center) manages the Sustainable Grazing Lands program at The Nature Conservancy

Photo Credit: New Belgium Family Foundation

Riparian area at Lowry Ranch  Photo Credit: Raquel Trainor

Riparian area at Lowry Ranch

Photo Credit: Raquel Trainor

Native grasslands on Lowry Ranch  Photo Credit: Raquel Trainor

Native grasslands on Lowry Ranch

Photo Credit: Raquel Trainor