drought

Category Archives for // drought
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    Zapata Tent Camps

    “We’ve got an hour before the sun sets, should we ride out and find some bison?”

    And so kicked off our camp out on the Medano among the wild bison. A combination of laid-back spontaneity and the freedom of having 55,000 acres to yourself set the tone for the evening. With the tents set up and fire ring built, Kate, Jessie and I had our chores done and could go have some fun. We set off north in search of some

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    by Emily Paxson

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    Christmas in Spring

    Photographer Matt DeLorme reflects on his first branding experience at the Chico.

    by Ranchlands Review

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  • Chasing the Green

    This spring feels like it’s pregnant. As if it is about to burst out unchecked as a living being.

    by Duke Phillips

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February 18, 2014

The San Luis Lakes

On the southwestern edge of the Medano we border an area called San Luis Lakes State Park.  It’s a beautiful spot which includes 1000 acres of wetlands and a couple good sized lakes.  Every few years we team up with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to implement planned grazing to help wildlife habitat, specifically wetland birds.  One of the main goals is to remove old, unpalatable and therefore undesirable vegetation.  The old vegetation forms a thick “mat” that makes it impossible

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January 31, 2014

The Deepest Stirrings of Spring

February is almost here, a mixed bag for us. In it hides the “deepest stirrings of spring” as Emma, our intern from Great Britain (who is sadly leaving tomorrow) put it so well. Normally it is full of bright clear skys, cold mornings and warmish days. You begin feeling a difference: the animals behaving a little different, bits of fur hanging on bushes, the tiniest bits of green.

I should say perhaps not a difference, but a hint of it. With this change, always comes the building

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Drought on the Chico Basin Ranch
December 6, 2013

Up to the Edge

As ranching families working and living on the land, we live and die by the amount of precipitation we receive.

August 8, 2013

Rain on the Chico

Yesterday it rained over most the ranch, the first big general rain that we’ve had in over 5 years.  In our west and south ranges, it was the first rain since three years ago.  We spent alot of time on the front porch watching it come in a dark line across the prairie.  Then watching it come off the roof in great torrents.

Later during supper on the porch (we couldn’t pull ourselves inside) the frogs came out and burst into

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May 2, 2013

Oasis

With only a few snow showers this spring adding up to at most a few tenths of precipitation, we’ve entered into a new phase of reevaluating and then implementing.  Today we continued our work of bringing in dry cows yet to calve to sell next week and aggregating our cow/calf pairs into our pastures with sub-irrigation.  It’s not ideal, but it’s pretty easy to see from the picture above it’s the only place with green grass.

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February 14, 2013

Drought, selling cows

Duke, Stuart Amy & myself met on Tuesday afternoon to check in. The dress code was neckties & work clothes. The topic of conversation revolved around the drought, & that we are going to sell off a substantial chunk of the cow herd over the next months.We were all quiet & thoughtful & a little goofy looking, as we sat & talked about what the ranch might look like with fewer cows on it, & where we’ll focus our time

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April 2, 2012

So Far So Dry

So far the year has started out severely dry, even dryer than last year. We have now completed our third warm, dry winter in a row and are going into our third dry summer too if things don’t change real soon. Because of this, our livestock numbers are very low and therefore our workload in that area is minimal. What that means for us this year is getting a lot done in other areas. The ground is already thawed due to a very warm

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