RCI was retained by the Matador Cattle Company, located near Dillon, Montana, to conduct a third-party analysis into earlier and continuing US Forest Service riparian area assessments conducted on the Long Creek Allotment.
Alternative Grazing Practices Identified
Previously the ranch had experienced extensive grazing reductions based on annual agency evaluations and was set for further reductions when RCI was called on. RCI successfully questioned the earlier agency findings and identified alternative grazing practices to retain the permitted stocking levels while also building resilience into the highly-valued riparian habitats.
Riparian Management Plan Developed
A riparian management plan was developed that included development of off-stream stock water and, over a four-year period, two Montana State University (MSU) graduate students implemented the planned livestock practices to more effectively distribute grazing throughout the allotment pastures while achieving the identified riparian use standards.
Intensive Resource Monitoring Performed
Cooperatively funded by the ranch, Forest Service, and the Montana Riparian Association, intensive resource monitoring was performed by the MSU graduate students during and after each grazing season and the results were documented in thesis reports.
Environmental Stewardship Award
The Matador Ranch was awarded the Environmental Stewardship Award by the National Beef and Cattlemen’s Association in association with this project.
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