The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has announced that Beatty Canyon Ranch in Kim, Colorado, is the national recipient of the 2020 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The award, which annually recognizes outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements by cattle producers, was presented on August 10 at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville. , Tenn.
Owned and operated by Steve and Joy Wooten and Brady and Arin Burnham, Beatty Canyon Ranch (BCR) manages 125,000 acres and has the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of land stewards involved in day-to-day operations. The Ranch is a family, faith-based business that focuses on land, ranching, recreation and community.
“Careful management of our natural resources has sustained the ranch through hardships through generations,” said Steve Wooten. “We are very honored to be recognized for our family’s efforts to preserve the environment, support communities and share our quality of life with others.
Controlling invasive species, managing pastures and improving wildlife habitat are just some of the reasons the BCR was selected as the national ASPP laureate. An urgent issue that ranch owners and workers have focused on is repairing the river systems that run through their property.
The Purgatory River and the Chacuaco drainage, both of which have been severely damaged by invasive tamarisk plant species, stretch for several kilometers of land. RCO’s efforts to eliminate tamarisk have resulted in increased vegetation cover in the wetlands and a new thriving population of willows, which now stabilize stream banks. Tamarisk leaves increase the salinity of soil and water, so its removal also improves water quality.
The current plethora of wildlife that inhabit the ranch and surrounding area has also taken root thanks to generations of land managers who prioritize the symbiotic relationship between ranching and wildlife management. In 2002, Steve Wooten’s grandmother, working with the Colorado Department of Wildlife, transferred 17 Mountain Bighorn Sheep to the ranch. Today, this herd is the largest population in Colorado, growing to over 500 heads in the canyon structure. This herd provides sheep to relocate to raise bighorn sheep populations in areas that need them.
“Ranchers and women across the country are dedicated to preserving natural resources,” said NCBA President Jerry Bohn. “The Beatty Canyon Ranch exemplifies these conservation efforts and is a model of stewardship for producers around the world. “
Established in 1991, ESAP identifies outstanding land stewards in the beef industry. Each year, seven families are recognized with regional environmental stewardship awards, one of them being honored as the national winner. BCR has been selected as the national winner from among the following regional 2020 winners:
Region I – SK Herefords, New York
Region II – Southern Cross Farm, Mississippi
Region III – Euken-Myers Family, Iowa
Region IV – Double C Cattle Company, Oklahoma
Region V – Beatty Canyon Ranch, Colorado
Region VI – Boies Ranch, Nevada
Region VII – Johnson Farms, South Dakota
Previous national ESAP winners include:
2019 – Blackbeard’s Ranch, Florida
2018 – Thunder View Farms, New York
2017 – Jim O’Haco Cattle Company, Arizona
2016 – Black Leg Ranch, North Dakota
2015 – Maggie Creek Ranch, Nevada
ESAP is generously sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the beef industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors including Corteva Agriscience, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, McDonald’s, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, partner with the NCBA to promote environmental stewardship throughout the world. along the beef supply chain.