Near Jackson in Beaverhead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
Naturally Sustained Productivity
Past, Present & Future
Ranching, anchored in the natural productivity of rangelands, is one of the main reasons so much or the landscape surrounding you still looks as it did centuries ago. The climate here is too harsh for farming, but native rangeland vegetation is adapted to grazing - it developed and thrived for thousands of years with seasonal yet heavy grazing by wild animals being central to the process. Today, wildlife remain in abundant numbers, and livestock grazing helps the rangeland to sustain itself. With careful management, the Hamilton Ranch deliberately creates environmental benefits to waterfowl and wildlife, while also producing superior beef.
The ranch controls where, and for how long grazing takes place, and gives each pasture periods of rest. Just as trimming houseplants stimulates their growth, when cattle eat vegetation at the right time and to the right extent, the grazing creates hardier plants and increases plant growth. When livestock graze late in the year, after plants have formed seeds, their hooves help drive seeds into the soil. This increases the successful planting of new vegetation that sustains the environment.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 12, 2018
1. Naturally Sustained Productivity Marker
Captions: (middle left) The ethic of being a good neighbor has long even central to life in remote cattle country. Please slow down if you encounter a cattle drive and leave all gates just as they were when you encountered them.; (lower right) Grazing along Bull Creek is carefully managed to maintain water quality and aquatic life. The grazing helps sustain the heath and vigor of vegetation, which in turn keeps steam banks stable and helps control erosion.
Even along creeks, rivers and the edges of wetland areas, grazing can help maintain natural productivity. Without grazing in riparian areas, vegetation eventually can choke off waterways. Too much grazing
in this areas can foster erosion that reduces plant health and hurts water quality. Careful monitoring and livestock management are the keys to success.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 12, 2018
2. Naturally Sustained Productivity Marker
Erected by Montana State University (Bozeman), Bureau of Land Management, Montana Stockgrowers Association.
Location. 45° 19.794′ N, 113° 14.694′ W. Marker is near Jackson, Montana, in Beaverhead County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 278 near Bull Creek Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jackson MT 59736, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Undaunted Stewardship (here, next to this marker); "The Carroll Ranch" (a few steps from this marker); "Hot Spring Valley" (a few steps from this marker); A Soul-Searching Birthday (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Hamilton Ranch (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); "I now take my leave..." (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Way It Used To Be... Way Back (approx. 6.8 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker is located at the overlook at the end of a short path, southwest of Idaho State Highway 278.
Categories. • Agriculture • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 32 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 4, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.