Meet Grand County’s environmentalists: Ranchers
By Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado,
The Whitmer Ranch in Kremmling is welcoming to nature. Ducks and geese are making homes out of four new irrigation ponds constructed last year.
They purposefully have shallow ends where water fowl can easily forage.
Eventually, riparian habitats around the ponds will create more wildlife benefits.
Temporary fencing that can be removed in the spring when sage grouse are present on nearby breeding grounds keeps grazing cattle from disturbing the new habitat.
The fencing, which takes a half day to take down, also is designed to have limited places for eagles and hawks to perch — predators of sage grouse.
These new improvements on the ranch “really makes irrigating a pleasure,” said ranch owner Kent Whitmer. To divert water out of the draw before, Whitmer said he had to dig a trench. Having the water in ponds makes irrigation easier.
“And we wanted to provide habitat for water fowl because that’s something that is important to me personally. And if we can get some fish in there, that’s good, too.” Read More
Farmers and ranchers were the first environmentalists and continue to be the most effective. Even though there is public money to help with these projects, the landowners still put in many thousands of dollars of their own money and many hours of their own time to make them successful. They not only talk to the talk, but they walk the walk, which is more than most people can say.