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Owner(s): Glenn & Caryl Elzinga

www.alderspring.com

Alderspring Ranch is guided by a strong underlying philosophical commitment to producing organic beef. An important secondary goal is to operate their ranch in a sustainable manner with enhanced profitability. A connection to the end consumer is also important to the Elzingas and they receive great personal satisfaction from the positive feedback that they have received from consumers of their product all over the world. Alderspring Ranch is clearly a family operated ranch and it is the desire of Glenn and Caryl to instill the values of organic farming and sustainable living in their children. Glenn and Caryl are in the business of raising food to provide a healthy product to the consumer as opposed to simply shipping a product off to market with no connection or concern for the animals or the consumer.

As mentioned previously, the Alderspring Ranch has a strong ethical commitment to raising organic grass fed beef.  Ranch operations are geared to achieving this goal, which sets them apart from many other ranchers in the area. Cattle are on BLM land from May-June. Beginning July 1, cattle are put onto USFS lands at Park and Moose Creek for two weeks. From approximately August 20 to September 24 cattle are cattle are grazed on Big Hat Creek. Cattle are then moved onto BLM lands and private pasture on October 20. On USFS lands cattle are moved in a south to north fashion according to elevation. They begin at about 4000 ft in early July and move to about 8000 feet by the end of the grazing season.

Discussions with the Elzingas did not specifically focus on wildlife species other than to acknowledge that sage grouse and anadromous fish do exist on the ranch. Of greater concern is the need to provide quantifiable data on the overall trend of plant communities. They would like to see an overall measurable decreasing trend in noxious weeds and upward trend in the quality of riparian communities, specifically on Little Hat Creek. Additionally, they would like to see less quack grass in irrigated fields and an increase in woody vegetation in the form of windbreaks and shelterbelts. Ideally, woody cover would create connectivity from Little Hat Creek to the Salmon River. The improvements in plant communities would result in better water quality, wildlife movement and nesting habitat for birds.

The Elzingas envision the CIRN as providing a unified landscape scale approach to land management that is compatible with the business objectives of the ranch.

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