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Ranchlands Review

Wildness Incarnate

“The Crane is wildness incarnate. High horns, low horns, silence, and finally a pandemonium of trumpets, rattles, croaks… a new day has begun on the crane marsh. A sense of time lies thick and heavy on such a place. Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”

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A Timeless Trade

Ranching is a trade that is deeply rooted in history and tradition as well as being on the forefront of progress and innovation. It is a trade that can be photographed 50 years apart with little to no noticeable change. A “timeless trade” not just stylistically or aesthetically, but in that its practices, rooted in caring for the land and providing for the people, are as relevant now as they were 100 years ago.

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Smoking Ques and How Tos

Welcome to your new favorite introduction piece on the oh-so delicious thing that we call barbecue! I’m going to walk you through some dos and don’ts when it comes to smoking those briskets, ribs and sausages that make the whole neighborhood jealous. We’re going to go over things like wood choice, what to look for when building or buying your own smoker, meat selection and prep, temperature control, and what not to overthink.

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How the Dunes Were Formed

Thousands of years ago, a large plate in the Earth’s surface shifted. This rift created the San Luis Valley in Colorado, a valley roughly the size of Connecticut. As the plate rifted and rotated it pushed up a large mountain formation we refer to today as the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The San Juan mountains, which form the southwest border of the Valley, were formed due to violent volcanic activity.

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Bugs, Biodiversity, and Big Ranches

Over the last few years, Chico Basin Ranch has partnered with the Mile High Bug Club (Pikes Peak Region chapter) to make a casual assessment of the diversity of insects, arachnids, and other invertebrates that live on the 87,000 acre property. The ongoing results point to a healthy, stable prairie ecosystem which is due in large part to the size of the ranch.

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Making the Right Thing Easy

“It’s about making the wrong thing difficult, and the right thing easy.” Most people who’ve spent time around horses will recognize this saying, but after a lifetime of riding horses, it’s evident Brett Rusher understands this mantra better than most.

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Self Selection

I was first introduced to the term “self-selection” in a barefoot trimming clinic in Australia about a year ago. The couple that were hosting the clinic, a trimmer and a vet, were starting a holistic rehab center in New South Wales in which one of the main focus points would be a Paddock-Paradise-style track system with a wide variety of planted herbs to provide the natural process of self-selection to their rehab horses. The thought behind this being that in the wild, horses (and other grazing animals) will seek out and choose to eat specific plants with medicinal properties to benefit their unique health, a process that most domestic horses don’t have access to, and which most horse owners compensate for by feeding an excess of supplements that blanket a wide variety of needs as a “cover all the bases” strategy.

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Ground Beef Donation Recap

A few weeks ago, Ranchlands Foundation and Chico Basin Ranch concluded our two-month effort in donating ground beef to those in need from COVID in the greater Colorado Springs community. Below are the reflections of Anja who coordinated the project for us.

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