Sustainable Ranching in Colorado

Steve Pargin, a third generation rancher, grazes his cattle on land leased from the U.S. Forest Service in southern Colorado. Pargin says he is dedicated to using the land sustainably in order to maximize its use for raising cattle, while preserving local wildlife and recreational opportunities. Several times a year, he and a crew, led by his head cowboy David Thompson, spend a week or more herding cattle from mountain range to mountain range to prevent them from causing damage to fragile ecosystems by staying in a single area too long. With ranchers' land rights issues in the news lately, Reuters photographer Lucas Jackson spent a week in Colorado last month, on a cattle drive documenting a modern example of a successful ranching operation, one that cares about stewardship of the land they rent and its ecological health.

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