Stewardship Spotlight: Creek Fencing at Brazil Ranch

April 1, 2021

MALT-protected since 1992, Brazil Ranch is owned and operated by a passionate multi-generation ranching family. In addition to raising Angus beef cattle and sheep, the picturesque ranch near Tomales provides extensive habitat along the banks of Walker Creek and its tributaries.

Incredible land stewards that they are, the Brazils have partnered with MALT, the National Resource Conservation Service, Point Blue Conservation Service and the Marin Resource Conservation District over the years to implement numerous impactful projects.

Over the past decade, MALT’s Stewardship Assistance Program (SAP) has helped install a large-scale water development system on the ranch, including a solar pump and thousands of feet of pipeline, construct fencing and gates to create seasonal grazing pastures and plant critically important vegetation along creek banks — all projects that have resulted in numerous ecological benefits and enhanced ranch operations.

The Creek Fencing Project

The Brazil family’s most recent SAP project resulted in the construction of 1,970 linear feet of fencing along a densely forested tributary of Walker Creek. Part of a larger conservation planning vision, each component helping to protect water quality and improve soil conditions, the fencing will safeguard the sensitive riparian corridor from cattle intrusion and support a salmon restoration project.

Fence along the tributary before the SAP project.
Fence along the tributary after the SAP project.

The Benefits

“Through fencing, riparian plantings and the elaborate livestock watering system, cattle can roam happily in their own managed areas while enjoying all of the fresh spring water delivered right to them! Meanwhile, inside the fenced riparian areas, clean streams bubble and flow, wildlife gathers and healthy wild watercress grows abundantly!” – Jody Brazil

Prospering Agriculture

Protecting the tributary will allow the vegetation along the banks to thrive, helping increase soil water retention in adjacent pastures and improve healthy forage growth.

Thriving Community

A healthy creek riparian zone will enhance water quality throughout the Tomales Bay watershed.

Ecological Health

Fencing will prevent cattle from entering the sensitive ecological area along the creek, allowing trees and shrubs to establish strong roots, stabilize the soil and create shade.

Climate Resiliency

Creating a buffer between the tributary and grazing pastures will help improve biodiversity, including native flora and fauna that will sequester more carbon.

How You Can Help

Your support of MALT will help ensure that farmers and ranchers like the Brazil family will be able to successfully steward this place now and for generations to come.

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