by Josh Teague
I saw this owl this morning along with several deer while doing my morning cattle move. I thought it was pretty neat because you normally don’t get to see an owl that close and especially during the daylight (the picture doesn’t do it justice as I have a really old iPhone). I’m sure it was about ready to call it a night and go home and get some rest. I was glad to see this bird of prey as it’s a sign that some of our conservation practices, along with our planned grazing are starting to pay off.
For the last two years and currently we have been in the process of excluding our livestock from the creeks, streams and sensitive areas to create riparian zones, and improve water quality. This practice is also very beneficial to wildlife of all kinds as it creates a lot of transition area from grass to brush or “edge” around all our pastures and streams. This area of “edge” is important as it gives cover and habitat to all types of wildlife so they can venture out into the clearing to look for food but have quick cover to return to should they have pressure from predators.
Coupling this with our planned grazing practices of high density, short duration grazing, we leave a good amount of residual forage behind post grazing, allowing for full plant recovery before returning to graze again. We have seen a noticeable increase in diversity of all kinds, from plant life, insects, and wildlife. We are seeing our land get healthier as we, along with our livestock help it to heal and regenerate from decades of abuse.
We started this journey with the idea of healing the land and ecosystems, while providing healthy great tasting grassfed beef for our family and yours. This has become even more important to us as we are expecting the arrival of identical twin boys next month. So as new parents we will be starting a new journey also. I’m sure healing the land will be the easiest of the two! But the regeneration of the land and its ecosystems has become even more important to us because we want to be able to point up in a tree with our two sons and say “Do you see that owl?”