McFarlandRanch

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The primary goal of the Carmen Creek Ranch is to operate a ranch that is economically viable while implementing ranching methods that are more efficient. According to the McFarlands, efficiency would be defined as less dependence on hay for feeding cattle in winter and less use of fossil fuel consumption in the daily operations of the ranch. Tom McFarland spoke at length about his concern regarding the use of fossil fuels on the ranch and the negative environmental impacts of this practice.

Tom McFarland along with son Seth, have a strong interest in operating a ranch that reduces its environmental impact by not only using less fossil fuels but also by having enough flexibility in their operation to experiment with and pursue other interests. According to Seth, one of these interests would include the expansion of native grasses in pasture areas.

Carmen Creek Ranch has implemented a number of innovations to increase range conditions on both their private property and public allotments. DeerOn private and public land they have decreased their stocking rate while at the same time changing their fall grazing practices on BLM land. To protect sensitive riparian areas, portions have been fenced in addition to changing fall grazing in these areas.

While wolves exist in the area of the Carmen Creek Ranch, their presence is not a significant problem. Of greater concern to the McFarlands is the number of elk that reside in the area, especially during winter. During this time, over 300 head of elk may be found on the upper benches in the vicinity of the ranch. This number of animals not only poses a problem from a forage use perspective, but it also adds to the significant amount of fence maintenance that is required.

Both white-tailed deer and mule deer are found on the ranch but white-tails are dominant.

Pronghorn antelope are also found on the ranch. The population of this species declined dramatically 10-15 years ago, but they appear to be increasing in population now.

Three hundred acres of conservation easement exist through TNC on Neil Ranch. This ranch is located south of Carmen Creek Ranch. Two thirds of the ranch is owned by one of Tom’s brothers while Tom and another brother each own one sixth of this property.

The McFarlands highlighted several benefits that could arise from participation in the CIRN. One outcome that they would like to see is implementation of an ecosystem wide management approach to ranching. As a part of this goal, perhaps an opportunity would exist to explore different conservation management strategies.

An overriding concern expressed by the McFarlands is the loss of federal lands for grazing. They feel that they are vulnerable to appeals by outside groups as it pertains to grazing on public lands. What they would like to see from the network is a collective system that could help support the rancher should they be subject to actions by outside groups that could prevent them from utilizing federal lands.

Tom McFarland
McFarland Ranch Fenceline
McFarland Ranch Spring
McFarland Ranch
Wildflowers
Balsam Root Wildflowers
Clouds and Mountains
Mare's Tail
Pink Field
Snowy Day Cattle
Cattle under Freeman
Pine Trees
Velvet Antlers
Balsam Root Rainbow
Elk
Antelope
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