Thursday, July 08, 2010

Flat Ranch Preserve Update

Flat Ranch Preserve, located in Macks Inn just 15 minutes from West Yellowstone, makes a great stop if you're on a trip to Yellowstone, the Henry's Fork or Henry's Lake. The preserve is open to the public for fly fishing, hiking, birding, wildlife watching and other outdoor recreation. There are also numerous lectures and events throughout the summer.

This year's preserve manager, Christopher Little, submits the following report on what's been happening on the preserve.
Birding Tour (June 23) - Jill and Neil Bachman were two excellent volunteers who helped out here for more than a month. Along with their passion for conservation and traveling, Jill and Neil are excellent birders, and they agreed to lead a bird tour here on the ranch to kick off our 2010 summer speaker series. The birding tour was a success and the weather cooperated. Several of the birds we saw were bald eagle, long-billed curlew (above), sandhill crane, swainson's hawk, American pipit, lesser scaup, California gull, and tree swallow. Thanks for everything Neil and Jill!
Flower Tour (June 26) - The flowers were incredible this season. Klara Varga, a botanist and flower expert from Ashton, , came to the Flat Ranch and lead a flower tour on the property. With a small class size, participants were treated to a detailed and scientific analysis of the diversity of flowers blooming on the Flat Ranch. It was a spectacular event, both educationally and aesthetically. The sun was shinning and the flowers were everywhere. Several of the flowers we identified were mule's ear, larkspur, groundsel, prairie smoke, blue camas, American bistort, sinkfoil, shooting star, and purple violet. Everyone came away from this class with a great amount of knowledge. Thanks Klara for a great class!
We will have many other events this summer at the preserve. The schedule for August and September will be posted on this blog soon. Cattle arrive (June 29) - We received more than 250 pair (cow and calf) to start the grazing season. They will be rotated throughout the 14 pastures at the ranch through October using intensive, short rotation periods. Their presence on the ranch exemplifies how habitat protection and proper grazing techniques can work together to achieve conservation goals. We have real cowboys out here managing the herd and protecting critical habitat for cattle and wildlife alike.

No comments: