California ranches where cattle and wildlife coexist: A new land ethic is taking root on 31,900 acres north of Los Angeles managed by an alliance of environmentalists and cattlemen who want to preserve ranching as a way of life while also protecting mountain lion, black bear, golden eagles and other wildlife.

To balance the needs of cattle and wildlife above and below ground, selected slopes are grazed to keep grasses and shrubs low enough for hawks and eagles to spot gophers and other prey more easily. In other areas, grazing is controlled to prevent erosion and allow native plants and flowers to flourish. Fences are going up along waterways. Ranch hands are prohibited from harming non-game wildlife.

(Al Seib’s photos are almost too idyllic and pastoral for me to handle this weekend… brb, queuing up Bon Iver. —S.)
Photo: Blue oaks dot the 15,000-acre Tollhouse Ranch. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

California ranches where cattle and wildlife coexist: A new land ethic is taking root on 31,900 acres north of Los Angeles managed by an alliance of environmentalists and cattlemen who want to preserve ranching as a way of life while also protecting mountain lion, black bear, golden eagles and other wildlife.

To balance the needs of cattle and wildlife above and below ground, selected slopes are grazed to keep grasses and shrubs low enough for hawks and eagles to spot gophers and other prey more easily. In other areas, grazing is controlled to prevent erosion and allow native plants and flowers to flourish. Fences are going up along waterways. Ranch hands are prohibited from harming non-game wildlife.

(Al Seib’s photos are almost too idyllic and pastoral for me to handle this weekend… brb, queuing up Bon Iver. —S.)

Photo: Blue oaks dot the 15,000-acre Tollhouse Ranch. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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