Webster’s Dictionary defines agriculture as “the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products.”
I am a natural resources management scientist and proponent of holistic management. Holism is the concept that the sum in living systems is greater than the parts. It gave me pause when I read my most recent Sierra magazine which informed readers that local ecosystems are self-contained and that harvesting livestock and game animals out of the system creates an entropic loss of carbon/minerals. It said to believe otherwise is not valid science and advocated that humans can’t do better than leaving it all alone to heal.
This newsletter’s pages show how ecologically-attuned management maintains wide open spaces for aesthetics, production and the essential dynamics of fire and wildlife movement to sustain those values.
What is sustainability? It is a subject I have studied a lot. In terms of carbon, the life element, sustainability means balancing for the ability of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Thus, sustainability reflects the fourth dimension of time, where empirically-monitored sites maintain carbon-balanced living health, even in the face of the regional desertification trend we see playing out across the Southwest.
As we close out our 24th year, Diablo Trust is grateful for much progress, and for your continued interest and support. Our 426,000-acre area, encompassing the Bar T Bar and Flying M ranches, continues to be managed as working landscapes sustaining our mission, “to demonstrate innovative approaches to restore and maintain the natural processes that create and protect a healthy, unfragmented landscape to support a diverse, flourishing community of human, plant and animal life in the Diablo Trust area for generations to come.”
These pages show it’s been a good summer for Diablo Trust. Our popular Annual Camp-out was held in a new location in the grasslands on the Diablo Canyon boundary between the Bar T Bar and Flying M ranches. Also, several days of agency-led group forage monitoring were completed this summer to document progress in meeting our collaborative management goals for healthy ecosystems.
This year's Camp-out was held on the eastern rim of Diablo Canyon, on Bar T Bar Ranch near Dog Valley. A total of 40 guests showed up, ranging from Diablo Trust old-timers to brand new visitors, interested in seeing and learning what the Diablo Trust community does.