Monday, June 25, 2012

Cattle and moose encounters at Flat Ranch

This summer we'll be featuring posts from James Freeman, our summer intern at The Nature Conservancy's Flat Ranch Preserve, near Yellowstone National Park: 

This week at Flat Ranch was a wild one, as the cattle were finally turned out onto the Flat Ranch Preserve. We knew we had our hands full after watching over eight 18-wheelers full of cattle arrive at our corral- it was certainly a sight (and smell) to witness.


Photos by staff

Luckily, we (Conservancy staff and volunteers) didn’t have to face the task of moving them into the pasture alone. Several cowboys arrived to steer them into the right direction. As you can imagine, moving over 250 cow/calf pairs is not a fast or quiet process. It took over an hour to herd the continuously mooing mass down the street and into the pasture. Even though moving the cattle wasn’t the fast-paced stampede I envisioned, it was definitely a sight worth seeing and a great indicator that summer has finally arrived here at the Flat Ranch Preserve.  Having cattle on the ranch does not interfere with public visitation and recreation, so don’t let this high-country phenomena deter you from stopping by to enjoy the property.

Photos by staff
In other news, we’ve also some had exciting encounters with wildlife over the past week. A cow moose and her calf added some action to our day as they came running towards the Visitor’s Center after being startled by fishermen near the river. Within seconds, TNC East Idaho Field Representative and Good Samaritan Chris Little was on the scene, riding the ATV parallel to the highway in order steer the cow moose and calf away from the busy artery to Yellowstone and back towards salvation in the willows on the Ranch. Job well done, Chris.
Come down to the Ranch to witness some of this action yourself. See you there!

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