Would you like birds with that burger? Point Blue is working hand-in hand with motivated cattle and other ranchers to accomplish conservation goals and establish working models for comprehensive ranch management. One such exemplary partner is TomKat Ranch located in coastal San Mateo County.
This 2,000-acre habitat mosaic in the coastal hills south of San Francisco is a grass-fed beef ranch and the site of Point Blue's newest field station. We collaborate with ranch managers to conduct ecological monitoring and guide sustainable and wildlife-friendly agriculture. In 2011, we began using birds as indicators to assess the impact of management decisions and support the TomKat goal of creating sustainably produced beef, promoting land stewardship, and enhancing biodiversity and wildlife protection.
With assistance from Point Blue, TomKat Ranch/Leftcoast Grassfed is implementing ranch management practices that take into account ranch health and profitability, beef quality, and ecosystem health. This is holistic management. Our resident ecologists are actively collaborating with ranch staff to create and maintain a ranch management plan, using birds and other wildlife as indicators of the overall health of the ranch.
Recently, staff from TomKat/Leftcoast Grassfed participated in the Holistic Management International conference.
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Point Blue is not only helping to guide ranch management, we're also helping to get the word out about this exciting partnership and all of the great things happening on this ranch. Our lead ecologist, Carlene Henneman, hosts local school groups during our bird research using mist-netting and bird banding at the ranch. We have also collaborated to create products for the community, such as "Common Species of the Working Lands of Coastal San Mateo County: A Wildlife Checklist."
Read a 2012 TomKat blog entry about one great visit from a local group of young people.
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