How One Regenerative Ranch Saved Endangered Animals From The Fire

Photo by Kimberly Fraser/USFWS via Creative Commons.
Photo by Kimberly Fraser/USFWS via Creative Commons.

Can a regenerative approach to ranching help mitigate wildfire damage?

When the May family purchased their 15,000-acre natural-range ranch, they knew it held a lot of potential… but they never could have imagined just how much potential it really had.

Knowing they wanted to do ranching regeneratively, the family set out to create a farm and wildlife haven on their property that would provide top-quality beef and heal the land at the same time.

How they did it

By partnering with conservation organizations, federal agencies, and wildlife groups, and adopting a live-and-let-live attitude towards local critters like prairie dogs, the ranch developed a harmonious coexistence between cattle ranching and conservation.

  • Without even trying to attract them, the ranch became a haven for endangered rarities like the Black Rail bird and Black-footed ferret.

Disaster strikes

But in 2022, a wildfire swept through the ranch, devastating important grasslands and animal habitats, and the Mays weren’t sure if their regenerative efforts would be wiped out, or if the land’s resiliency would allow the plants and animals to bounce back.

  • Part of the concern arose because the fire damaged the root systems of some plants, but the Mays weren’t sure how deep the damage went.

The ranch bounces back

Happily, within a few months, the ranch’s grasslands were back and the animals were returning to the ranch – a testament to the hardiness of the ecosystems cultivated on the land!

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