New web site, LifeontheRange.org, showcases award-winning stewardship, cutting-edge trends on Idaho’s ranches and rangelands
BOISE — (Nov. 8, 2010) — The Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission launched a new web site called “Life on the Range” Monday that showcases fresh stories about the ever-changing landscape of ranching, multiple-use management, entrepreneurial spirit, family and stewardship on Idaho’s rangelands.
The project highlights two stories in the Magic Valley region:
- Lava Lake Ranch in Carey, which is marketing its certified organic, all-natural grass-fed lamb directly to restaurants and consumers in southern Idaho and elsewhere while receiving honors for exceptional land management.
- The Noh Sheep Company, run by John and Julie Noh, which manages using rest-rotation principles and shares public lands in the South Hills near Twin Falls with a bevy of recreation users.
The Life on the Range project profiles ranchers throughout the state of Idaho who are engaged in cutting-edge management, including:
- The Schwenkfelder Family’s SS Cattle Company in Cambridge, which created a wildlife-enhancement project on the home ranch to create a new home for waterfowl, songbirds and fish. The Schwenkfelders also play host to sage grouse, a candidate species.
- Bruneau Rancher Chris Black, who received a national stewardship award from the Bureau of Land Management for riparian-restoration work and outstanding rangelands management. Black runs cattle in the new Owyhee Wilderness area.
- The Harris Family at the Bar H Bar Ranch in Soda Springs, who have improved their range stewardship through active herding in the national forest with the assistance of paying guests. The Harrises started the guest ranching business not long after the movie, “City Slickers,” came out in the early 1990s.
Life on the Range also profiles the successful Ridge to Rivers management partnership led by six agencies in the Boise Foothills as a positive example of multiple-use management next to Idaho’s largest city.
“We’ve been wanting to share many of the positive stories that go on every day on Idaho’s Rangelands for a long time, and we’re finally doing that with a state-of-the-art web site,” said Gretchen Hyde, executive director of the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission (IRRC).
“People can watch videos that touch on the high points of the stories, read a written feature that provides more detail, or look through a slide reel of still photos to get a flavor for the people and animals involved,” Hyde said. “As we mentioned on the front page of the web site, we are interested in getting any tips from the public about other stories that we should capture for this project in the coming years.”
A story on the Upper Salmon River Basin Watershed Project, in which many ranchers are working to restore and improve fish habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead, will be added to the web site in the coming week. More stories that shine the spotlight on positive management activities that improve the land will be coming next year, including some stories from North Idaho. Educational curriculum from the stories profiled on Life on the Range will be developed in the coming year.
To help spread the word about the project, the IRRC has created a Life on the Range fan page on Facebook, a twitter feed, and a YouTube channel, where the videos can be viewed as well as on the web site itself.
Life on the Range was supervised by Hyde and produced by project manager Steve Stuebner, a long-time Idaho writer and author, who has been writing stories about ranching and public lands for 25 years. The videos for Life on the Range were produced and written by Stuebner and directed and edited by Marc Morris of Avitamarc Productions in Meridian.
About the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission: The Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission is an educational organization representing the state’s cattle and sheep ranchers. It seeks to increase public understanding about the balanced management of public rangelands, it promotes rangeland stewardship, and it provides information and educational materials to Idaho’s school children.