Economic Opportunities: Other

The Rural Planning Area Working Group hosted four workshops in 2004 to explore ideas for enhancing economic sustainability on the ranches. These include conservation easements, ecotourism, Wind Energy Production, low-impact housing, Wood products, value-added beef products, and native seed production.

Wood products

Encroachment of juniper and pinyon trees on the historic grasslands distresses watershed health, alters the grassland soils and makes both cattle and antelope more vulnerable to predators. The Diablo Trust has investigated the combination of removing this wood to return the grasslands to their previous vitality while marketing this small-diameter timber. Capital needs, such as for a loader and a grinder, may be relatively small. There appear to be wood processors ready to accept the material.

There is a strong market for locally-raised and value-added beef products.

Value added beef

Oregon Country Beef of Brothers, OR, is a successful cooperative involving a large number of ranches that pool resources to market high quality beef products to selective consumers. Local opportunities may be limited by the smaller scale of beef ranching in northern Arizona.

Native seed production

There is a high demand for native seed for disturbed areas such as those affected by forest fires or by new development or road construction. The nearest current suppliers are in New Mexico and Colorado.