- Bird

Colorado’s Houseweart Ranch Earns Chicken-Pleasant Habitat Certification from Audubon

Hotchkiss, Colo. — The Houseweart Ranch in west-central Colorado has acquired a Chicken-Pleasant Habitat Certification from the Nationwide Audubon Society. Beef produced on the ranch by house owners Cynthia and Ira Houseweart and offered underneath their Princess Beef model can now carry the Audubon Licensed bird-friendly seal, a package deal label that acknowledges product origin as lands managed for birds and biodiversity.

The Houseweart Ranch joins a collective of practically 100 ranches – combining for greater than 2.7 million acres – throughout 15 states to earn this bird-friendly habitat certification. Positioned in Delta County and the North Fork Valley, the Houseweart Ranch consists of mid-elevation grasslands, rangelands, and shrublands, with Cynthia and Ira Houseweart the fourth household era to reside on the land. That backdrop of greater than a century of household stewardship led the Housewearts to enroll the property in Audubon Conservation Ranching, a habitat program working to stabilize declining grassland fowl populations in Colorado and throughout the U.S. As detailed within the just-released State of the Birds 2022 report, grassland birds are among the many fastest-declining fowl species in the USA, with a 34% loss since 1970. As an Audubon Licensed bird-friendly habitat, the Housewearts are managing their ranch to supply habitat for a variety of avian species, from Burrowing Owls to Gunnison Sage-Grouse to Western Meadowlarks.

Cynthia Houseweart began the Princess Beef herd in 1999 with a cow named “Princess,” a present from her ranching mentors, Steve and Rachel Allen. Her herd has roamed the Houseweart Ranch since she and Ira assumed possession in 2005, the place they’ve carried out a rotational grazing system with a major goal of constructing wholesome soils that help wholesome grasslands. Not not like their beef, she views wildlife as a wholesome product of this administration. “We get pleasure from searching for a wide range of birds on the ranch,” stated Houseweart, who whose father, Ed Butterfield, is a former president of Denver Audubon.

Dusty Downey, Conservation Ranching Supervisor for Audubon Rockies, Audubon’s regional workplace, says rotational grazing is vital – maybe the largest key – to creating numerous grassland habitat. “In broad phrases, rotational cattle grazing is designed to imitate what herds of roaming bison as soon as did as they moved in regards to the panorama. The impact is a mosaic of brief, mid, and taller covers that help fowl species with totally different habitat wants.” Downey factors to the Horned Lark and Western Meadowlark as species that flock to the brief vegetation created by brief durations of high-intensity grazing. On the opposite facet of the fence, he says resting an space from grazing results in taller-structured vegetation most well-liked by species just like the Loggerhead Shrike and Vesper Sparrow.

Even with a devoted and repeat buyer base, Cynthia Houseweart says the Audubon Licensed bird-friendly is a approach to distinguish her operation’s environmental bona fides in an ever-competitive market. The Housewearts promote Princess Beef direct to client, with floor beef obtainable year-round on the ranch, and bulk orders obtainable within the fall at pickup places between Grand Junction and Colorado Springs, or on the Houseweart Ranch. Merchandise are additionally obtainable by Farm Runners, a regional meals distributor specializing in custom-harvested farm merchandise.

For extra details about Audubon Conservation Ranching in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, contact Dusty Downey, Audubon Rockies Conservation Ranching Supervisor, at (307) 756-3941.

About Audubon Conservation Ranching

A wildlife habitat initiative of the Nationwide Audubon Society with a singular market entrance, Audubon Conservation Ranching’s function is to stabilize declining grassland fowl populations in partnership with ranchers – on whose land 95 p.c of grassland birds stay. Audubon Conservation Ranching’s enrollment contains 99 ranches, masking greater than 2.7 million acres which have earned standing as Audubon Licensed Chicken-friendly Land. Incentivizing this habitat work for birds and biodiversity are shoppers with an urge for food for conservation, who help it with the acquisition of merchandise grazed on these lands. Consumers see a particular package deal designation – the Audubon Licensed bird-friendly seal – that units these merchandise aside. For extra data, go to Audubon.org/ranching.

About Audubon

The Nationwide Audubon Society protects birds and the locations they want, immediately and tomorrow, all through the Americas utilizing science, advocacy, schooling, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state applications, nature facilities, chapters, and companions have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches hundreds of thousands of individuals annually to tell, encourage and unite numerous communities in conservation motion. Since 1905, Audubon’s imaginative and prescient has been a world during which folks and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation group. Be taught extra at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

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