I was just informed that our ranch, of which I have been the Operations Manager for 12 years, has been awarded the Private Landowner Stewardship Award by the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society! The award is one of two civic recognitions they give out annually. From their website:
“Private Landowner Stewardship Award
“This civic award recognizes private landowners for implementing positive wildlife conservation programs or actions on their land in conjunction with their commercial operation.”
I was told that the nomination came from Jennifer Feola (BLM), Tristan Huff (Oregon State University, Forestry Extension Officer Coos & Curry County) and Stuart Love (Wildlife Biologist, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife). I’ve worked with all three of these amazing people over the years and am so honored that they considered our ranch for the award.
Over the years we have worked hard to improve the wildlife habitat here on the Chandler Ranch. We still have to log (maintenance and taxes take money, after all), but we have managed to improve conditions over the long haul.
In 2010 we did a restoration of 25 acres of oak savannah (assited by a grant from ODFW). My blog post, Ground Burning of the Oak Savannah, talks about what went into it (and why we were burning).
Earlier we did a restoration project of the sections of Dement Creek that run through our property. ODFW, BLM and other agencies assisted with grants for that project as well. It was before my blog (so no blog post about it), but it did significantly improve the salmon population in the mile or so of creek on our property.
Overall, we’ve definitely seen an increase in wildlife on our property. The elk herds that live on or pass through have grown – to the point where we occasionally have elk in the yard. There seem to be more deer, I’ve spotted several bears, and my daughter recently had a full-grown cougar cross the road about 20 ft. in front of her car!
It’s easy to see the big animals, but I think that the fact that there are more large animals visible means also that there are more of the smaller animals as well
So, at the end of April, I’ll be honored to accept the Private Landowner Stewardship Award on behalf of the Chandler Family Ranch, LLC, at the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Banquet dinner in Eugene, Oregon.