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Uploaded on Jul 27, 2009
The 2009 Environmental Stewardship Region VI Award WInner - Leavitt Lake Ranches of Vina and Susanville, Calif., is a 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award winner. Representing the National Cattlemens Beef Association Region VI, family was recognized at the 2009 Cattle Industry Summer Conference for their innovative approaches to land management and conservation. Owned and operated by Darrell Wood, his wife Callie, son Ramsey and daughter Dallice, Leavitt Lake Ranches has family ranching ties dating back to the 1860s. Today, between the winter range annual grasslands of the Vina Plains and the summer range on high elevation meadows of Lassen County, they own approximately 3,670 acres of private land, manage 25,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management permits and lease another 11,000 acres, for a total of 39,670 acres. Together, they run 600 mother cows, 400 yearlings and farm 600 acres of alfalfa and 900 acres of irrigated pasture. The cattle herd is made up of spring and fall calving herds of registered and commercial Angus cattle. The Wood family has implemented a number of practices aimed at protecting and improving the land upon which they make a living. These include: Worked in cooperation with TNC on a restoration plan for the Vina Plains, vernal pools project. The vernal pools are home to several threatened, endangered or at risk plant and animal species. Provide habitat for an abundance of wildlife including waterfowl, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, aquatic species, upland game birds and sage grouse. Improved irrigation systems, constructed cross-fencing, installed livestock water developments, conduct seeding, decrease streambank erosion and implement an overall prescribed grazing plan. Improved riparian conditions along Petes Creek and restore the hydrology of the surrounding meadow. This was targeted to increase sage grouse habitat. Participated in Nutritional Balance Analyzer program, a pilot program that tracks forage quality on rangelands through livestock fecal analysis. Fenced off riparian area to improve habitat condition for wild salmon that utilize Deer Creek for spawning.