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
logging industries.  

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
      Production Goals
      Quality of Life Goals
      Natural Resource/Water Quality Goals
  *  Resource/ Water Quality Self Assessments
  *  Grazing and Ranch Management Checklist

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.

                                                       *        *        *        *        *        *        *
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 danmartynn@ca.usda.gov or 530-283-7511 to get more information.

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 sierravalleyrcd@svrcd.com

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.
Management Plan?
Old Cavet Ranch Barn in Sierra Valley
Creek fencing and livestock crossings aid in
accomplishing ranch water quality objectives
Old Cavet Ranch Barn in Sierra Valley  
February 2008
Upper  Feather  River  Watershed  Group
PO Box 975 Loyalton, Ca  96118
Plumas and Sierra Counties
UFRWG    Agriculture Stakeholders  advancing water stewardship

Ranch Water Quality
Planning Partners:

UC Davis California Rangelands
Getting Started    

Resource Conservation Agencies:

Sierra Valley RCD
Feather River RCD
Feather River CRM

Agriculture Water Quality Planning   
might include the following
Best Management Practices:

Riparian Fencing
Grazing Rotation & Management
Farm Input Application Evaluations
Sediment Management
Buffer Zones & Vegetated Ditches
Tailwater Management to reduce E.coli