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Field Walk Resources

posted on

June 18, 2024

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Thanks to everyone who attended our field walk last week! We lucked out with a beautiful evening, learned a lot from our guest speakers, and made some great connections with new folks. Whether you're just getting started out with conservation grazing, you're looking to improve what you're already doing, or you just want to learn more, be sure to check out the resources we mentioned for more information. 

I hope you've been inspired to try something new. Please let us know about your project and how it's going! And plan on coming back in a couple years to see our completed silvopasture project - but let's be honest,  when you're dealing with the land and animals, is a project ever really completed? So maybe let's just call it progress, rather than complete.

Conservation Resources:

  • Thurston Conservation District: Promotes non-regulatory and voluntary stewardship among private landowners in Thurston County. Services are free to the residents of our County. They help find resources that meet the needs of local land-users for the conservation of soil, water, and related resources. Many fact sheets and resources are available online
  • WSU Extension Thurston County: Provides research-based information and educational programs to farmers, consumers, decision-makers, and others involved in the South Sound food system. They put on the Southwest Washington Grazing School each year, a valuable multi-day course that dives deep into grazing management. 
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program: This program from U.S. Fish and Wildlife provides free technical and financial assistance to plan, design, supervise, and monitor customized habitat restoration projects. 
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA): Their conservation programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damage caused by floods and other natural disasters. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides funding for projects. They also have an Agricultural Conservation Easement Program to help landowners protect working farms and ranches through conservation easements.
  • Ecostudies Institute: Collaborates with other conservation organizations and governmental agencies to advance wildlife conservation. SARE grants help support their work. 
  • Center for Natural Lands Management: Protects and manages several preserves in Washington, including Cavness Ranch next door to Colvin Ranch. They are also a great partner for restoration projects.
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Administers a number of programs to protect and preserve habitat in the state. They manage the Violet Prairie property across the road from Colvin Ranch in addition to many other sites. 

Agriculture Resources:

  • Southwest Washington Grazing Association: Offers education and networking opportunities around animal production systems and conservation grazing practices that build soil, support habitat, and provide a livelihood for rural families. Membership is open to everyone. 
  • Southwest Washington Food Hub: Supported by WSU Extension, the hub is a product of Southwest Washington farmers wanting to help build resilient regional food systems and offer an alternative to traditional food distribution services.

Silvopasture Resources:

More from the blog

Silvopasture Field Walk

On Wednesday, June 12 we're offering an opportunity to get out on the back forested section of Colvin Ranch on an evening pasture walk with experts from NRCS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Riparian Projects at Colvin Ranch

When we have cattle in the meadows, we take steps to protect the creek banks and the water quality. One major project that was done nearly 20 years ago with the Thurston Conservation District was the Riparian Planting Project, which planted 1,900 trees along 5,250 feet of Scatter Creek at the ranch.