Escalante Ranger District permittees receive Rangeland Excellence Award

Contact(s): Kevin S. Abel

Upper Valley West allotment permittees received the Rangeland Excellence Award at the Utah Section Society for Range Management in November for their work and efforts on rangelands in the Dixie National Forest’s Escalante Ranger District.


The Upper Valley West Allotment is a community allotment consisting of Diamond Q Ranch, LLC (Myron Carter & Turn About Ranch), LeRell and Ecko Barnson, and Lizard Ranch Land & Cattle, LLC (Heath Spencer and Jared & Heather Dunton).


“I have had the pleasure of working with this great group of individuals for five years, their level of communication is outstanding,” said Jessica M. Warner, Rangeland Management Specialist.


Utilization for the 2019 grazing season was well below the 50% allowable use, as it has been for several years because of their amazing management through herding and clean pasture moves. The allotment permittees and range management specialist are always communicating regarding pasture rotations, supplies needed for fences and the water systems, as well as possible improvements.


To help ease the impact of grazing over the last five years, seven miles of pipeline have been replaced or added to the allotment using a Watershed Restoration Initiative Grant through the Grazing Improvement Program. “We have been discussing replacing the remaining four miles of pipeline and adding about another mile to the line to increase livestock distribution,” said Warner. “I enjoy joking with these individuals asking if they even turned cattle on to the allotment since the cows are distributed so well now.”


In addition to the pipeline, the permittees have pursued Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) grant dollars for rabbit brush treatment on a planned 350 acres.


In addition to working together, all parties have started discussing putting in a new, better functioning corral for the allotment. The corral would not only benefit the permittees, but by adding water within the corral and putting in smaller stalls nearby, people who are traveling with horses could stay and ride under Powell Point.


According to Warner, the Upper Valley West Permittees are a group she looks forward to meeting with and having management discussions. She believes they are very forward thinkers and have the long term interest of the land for their children and grandchildren as well as all public land users.