Community Agriculture Alliance: Managing property for wildlife, agriculture
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
As landowners many of you know, your land is not only your way of life but also the home to wildlife that inhabit that land. Is there a way you can manage your property to maintain your way of life as well and enhance the habitat for wildlife? Absolutely, and many of you already are.
First, a couple of questions: What are your goals for the land? Then, when are the wildlife inhabiting your land?
If your goal is to raise livestock, put up hay, harvest crops, etc., there are still ways to benefit wildlife. This is where the question of what season the wildlife are inhabiting your land is relevant.
Do they come through in the spring; waterfowl migrating, elk and deer migrating? Do wildlife spend their summers and fall on your land; nesting and/or rearing their young, foraging and getting ready for winter or migrating through? Do they spend their winters on your land surviving the winter looking forward to spring?
Whatever season wildlife inhabit your land, there are ways to maintain and enhance the habitat for the benefit of wildlife as well as maintain and enhance your agricultural operation.
If wildlife is using your land in the spring, is there a way you can leave or grow some forage or provide a resting area for wildlife as they are migrating through? If wildlife is using it in the summer and fall, is there a way you can enhance or maintain forage for your livestock as well as wildlife or reserve summer cover and nesting habitat for wildlife and use that as fall forage for livestock, and/or provide a resting area for migrating wildlife? If wildlife is using your land in the winter, is there a way you can utilize that for livestock early in the seasons to allow for forage and cover growth over the summer for winter forage for wildlife?
Landowners and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are not only partners in conservation but joint caretakers in regards to wildlife. Private landowners have many acres of incredible habitat for wildlife and we, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, have many resources and contacts to help you manage for agriculture and wildlife. Contact us at 970-870-2197, if you would like suggestions or contacts on how to manage for agriculture and wildlife.
Kyle Bond is the district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
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