Historic structures reveal ranch
planning efforts by early generations.
Wooden plank bridges are common in the
mountain valleys. The planks and beams
used in late 1800-1900 barn and bridge
construction were milled locally and used
by early Swiss Italian farmers as they
developed their farms for dairy and hay
production to supply local mining and
Large barns constructed of hand-hewn
timbers were used to house dairy herds and
horse teams, and store hay through the
tough Sierra Mountain winters. Some of
the majestic structures can still be seen on
many ranches today.
In the early 1900's ranch planning included
stockpiling supplies to carry man and
livestock through the snow-bound isolation
of the winter months.
Today ranch planning concerns have
advanced from hay, firewood and feed
supply stocking; and been replaced with
land, water and resource preservation issues.
Preservation of ranch lands, irrigation
water resources and the rural
lifestyle depends on the adaptability
of ranch families to negotiate new
environmental challenges, including
agricultural water quality.
Partnerships and peer support can make
water quality goals attainable.
Agricultural business men and women have at their disposal numerous aids to improve planning and
record-keeping. In addition to new and specialized equipment and GIS technology available to farmers;
cattlemen have EPD's, source of origin, electronic ID, beef checkoff, quality assurance, low stress livestock
handling, etc. All of these are tools, for the farm and ranch toolbox -- some new, some generation tested.
With increased emphasis on environmental stewardship, it is now essential to include the conservation and
natural resource element in the farm and ranch planning process. Savvy producers know the importance of
including water and air quality in their farm and ranch planning. To be sure, the expectations are high for the
world's most efficient food and fiber producers. However, the hard working, innovative folks who have chosen
this line of work are no strangers to difficulties and challenges. They know how to pull on their boots and gloves
and "get 'er done" - - in the most adverse of circumstances!
Often times the biggest challenge is the paper-work and just getting started. Your goal can be small or
expansive for your ranch management and water quality planning endeavor. Our goal is to provide you access to
information and agencies that can help overcome hurdles in your efforts. We will provide sample plans and
templates to enable the time-strapped producer to begin the process of planning and documenting.
UC Davis California Rangelands website is a terrific resource for ranch and farm information developed through
research, field tests and partnerships with farmers & ranchers.
A Modular Plan for Ranch Water Quality Planning has been developed to help the agriculture producer initiate the
process of writing a ranch plan. The website provides a welcomed step-by-step guide that is easy to follow. We
encourage you to take a minute to check it out.
With a simple self assessment of your resources, a checklist, and a little time,
you will have completed your ranch plan!
The Modular Plan for Ranch Water Quality Planning at the UC Davis website includes:
* Property Information
* Farm/Ranch Operations and Land Use
* Farm/Ranch Map
* Stocking Rate and Carrying Capacity
* Livestock Inventory
* Pasture/ Field Inventory
* Ranch Goals
Quality of Life Goals
Natural Resource/Water Quality Goals
* Resource/ Water Quality Self Assessments
* Grazing and Ranch Management Checklist
The complete form can be downloaded into an MS Word file or printed for a notebook copy to keep on your desk
as you begin work on your Ranch Plan.
* * * * * * *
The NRCS Natural Resource and Conservation Service has helped farmers and ranchers develop and
implement farm and resource planning since 1962. Many producers in our area have successfully used the
resources available to them through the local NRCS office in Quincy. Plumas and Sierra County producers can
contact Dan Martynn in Quincy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-283-7511 to get more information.
The Sierra Valley RCD is another local resource agency that provides assistance to local landowners as they
develop resource conservation plans and begin implementation of management practices to enhance the
natural resources on their working lands. Contact Dave Goicoechea at email@example.com
The Feather River-CRM has completed numerous stream restoration projects in the Feather River Region.
These projects have benefited both public and private lands and improved watershed function by reducing
erosion and stabilizing stream beds and vegetation. For more information check their website link.
If you have any questions as you begin your ranch planning efforts please feel free to contact us. We will be glad
to assist you with forms or direct you to a resource group that can best assist with your project
Ranch Management Planning
Incorporating Resource Conservation and Water Quality Practices
Farm and Ranch Management Planning
Similar to managers of any successful business, farm and ranch operators
understand that setting goals and developing a plan to achieve those goals
is essential to the success of their agricultural businesses, as well.
Creek fencing and livestock crossings aid in
accomplishing ranch water quality objectives.
Old Cavet Ranch Barn in Sierra Valley
|Upper Feather River Watershed Group
PO Box 975 Loyalton, Ca 96118
Plumas and Sierra Counties
UFRWG Agriculture Stakeholders advancing water stewardship
Ranch Water Quality
UC Davis California Rangelands
Resource Conservation Agencies:
Sierra Valley RCD
Feather River RCD
Feather River CRM
Agriculture Water Quality Planning
might include the following
Best Management Practices:
Grazing Rotation & Management
Farm Input Application Evaluations
Buffer Zones & Vegetated Ditches
Tailwater Management to reduce E.coli