Stewardship Spotlight: Blue Jay Ranch
September 18, 2020
With limited water in the upland pastures of the 810-acre Blue Jay Ranch, located at the base of Three Peaks, beef cattle often lingered at lower elevations, leaving large swaths of the ranch’s grasslands undergrazed. To improve water access for the ranch’s cattle and enhance climate-beneficial grazing practices, Blue Jay Ranch agriculturalists looked to MALT’s Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP) for conservation planning expertise and funding support. Together, ranchers and MALT’s stewardship team, in partnership with the Marin Resource Conservation District, worked to install a 3,500-gallon water storage tank, with a new pipeline connecting the tank to an existing reservoir pump. Four new concrete water troughs were constructed as well, each placed strategically in grazing pastures in order to reduce the distance between water sources and decrease the cattle’s impact on the land.
Offering abundant clean water throughout the ranch will allow for greater distribution of cattle across Blue Jay Ranch pastures and result in improved utilization of grassland forage. Combined with a previously completed SAP fencing project, this water development effort will enable enhanced rotational grazing practices as well, helping ranchers ensure that pastures rest between grazing periods for healthy plant growth throughout the year.
Learn more about SAP today and how you can apply for and/or support this work!