Here at Shasta Ranch, we are concerned about our impact on the environment and make sustainability a priority. Raising livestock can have long-term adverse impacts on the environment. Our goal is to create a sustainable production operation that protects and enhances the land. The ranch encompasses 160 acres of sage steppe range land that has been used for raising livestock since the late 1800's. Approximately 80 acres have been fenced and serve as our primary grazing area. The remaining 80 acres are preserved as sage steppe and serve as habitat for deer, badgers, bobcat, marmots and quail as well as hawks and eagles. The property is adjacent to the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge and sees many migratory birds.
Rotational grazing is used to minimize impact on the land while providing natural healthy forage for our sheep. The grazing area is divided into multiple pastures which are allowed to grow, be grazed and then rested. Select pastures are seeded with dry land forages such as Rye and are naturally fertilized by the grazing sheep. No-till farming techniques are used to minimize soil erosion. To promote animal health, eliminate fertilizer use and waste disposal; manure is collected and composted. The composted manure is then spread on the pastures as part of the rotational grazing program. Chemical fertilizers are not used, further reducing our impact on the environment.
Solar power is being used to heat livestock tanks in the cold winter months. This saves electrical energy and prevents water waste. Rain water is collected and used for irrigation as well as a water source for livestock.
Whenever possible, building and fencing materials are recycled. As an example, plywood packing containers for solar panels were reused to build livestock shelters saving this material from the waste stream. Rain water is collected from buildings and used for livestock and irrigation rather than pumping ground water.