Life on the Range

is an educational project that showcases stories about the ever-changing landscape of ranching, multiple-use management, entrepreneurial spirit, family and stewardship on Idaho’s rangelands.

The heart-warming stories provide a rare glimpse of how our neighbors in rural Idaho work every day to improve the earth and touch people’s lives in positive ways.

Brought to you by the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission. If you have a story idea, please email us.

Range Stories by Region

Choose a region to explore and learn about Idaho Rangeland
All Idaho Regions
Davis family raises Japanese Akaushi cattle in Cascade, Idaho +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Cattle

On a cool August morning, Rancher Phil Davis and several friends on horseback herded yearling cattle from a private pasture…

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Emmett students learn about natural resources at Sagehen Reservoir +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Education

About 100 5th graders from Emmett Middle School went to Sagehen Reservoir in May to learn about natural resources in…

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New fire prevention policy works to preserve sage grouse habitat – Large-scale initiatives in Idaho and the Great Basin +
South Central Idaho   | 
Fire and Rehabilitation

BLM, Forest Service to follow new fire prevention strategy to preserve best sage grouse habitat in five Great Basin states,…

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Tyler family inks conservation easement – Partnering with Lemhi Land Trust to enhance salmon and steelhead habitat +
Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Tyler family inks $11 million conservation easement on Lemhi River to protect salmon spawning habitat Karl Tyler always wanted to…

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Owyhee County ranchers create wetlands for wildlife – (spotted frogs), livestock and water conservation +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Conservation

Ranchers create ponds, wetlands in Owyhee County in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service In the arid West, water…

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Multiple use in the Boise Foothills – Ridge to Rivers cooperative land management +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Land Management

Ridge to Rivers Partnership leads to cooperative management of Boise Foothills The Boise Foothills, a large open space area right…

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Restoring the land after the Pony and Elk wildfires – Focus on BLM and USFS rehab techniques +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Fire and Rehabilitation

Range plants respond with vigor following post-fire rehabilitation efforts by the BLM, Forest Service The Pony and Elk complex wildfires…

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Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Program – Enhancing salmon and steelhead habitat on private ranchlands +
Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Salmon River ranchers restore salmon streams in Upper Salmon Basin to provide homes for fish Jan Phillips and her late…

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Joseph Black & Sons – Holistic management on private and public lands +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Cattle

Chris Black embraces Holistic Management to enhance biodiversity, range productivity Bruneau Rancher Chris Black’s family has been ranching in Owyhee…

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Bar H Bar Guest Ranch – Urbanites learn about Ag on working ranch +
Southeast Idaho   | 
Cattle

Guest riders learn about ranch life, improve stewardship at Bar H Bar Ranch On a frosty September morning in the…

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Lava Lake Ranch – Marketing lamb directly to restaurants and grocery stores +
Central Idaho   | 
Sheep

Lava Lake Ranch taps into local markets, restaurants for sales of certified organic and natural lamb products Lava Lake Ranch…

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Noh Sheep Company – Ranching in the South Hills +
South Central Idaho   | 
Sheep

John Noh enjoys rebound of sheep prices & wool prices, practices rest-rotation grazing in the South Hills Kimberly sheep rancher…

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SS Cattle Company – Creating fish and wildlife habitat on private lands +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Cattle

SS Cattle Co. creates wildlife habitat on ranch, finds sweet spot for sustainable future Royce and Pam Schwenkfelder run the…

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Ray Holes – The Goat King – Using goats to combat noxious weeds +
North Central Idaho   | 
Noxious Weed Management

Ray Holes – the Goat King Using goats for targeting grazing of noxious weeds The use of goats to control…

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Borah High students learn about sage grouse in the Owyhee Mountains +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Education

Borah High students learn about sage-grouse, juniper invasion on field trip in the Owyhees Over 75 Borah High School juniors…

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Care & Share Program – Trailhead signage gives recreation tips on co-existing with livestock +
Uncategorized   | 
Education

Care & Share program gives recreationists a head’s up about co-existing with sheep, cattle grazing on public lands The Care…

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Eastern Idaho Grazing Association – Raising cattle and sheep on common range +
Eastern Idaho   | 
Land Management

Range stewardship leads to thrifty grasslands, improved weight gains for livestock in E. Idaho In the broad, sweeping valleys under…

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Pahsimeroi Valley – Restoring streams to benefit salmon and steelhead +
Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Ranchers restore fish habitat in Pahsimeroi Valley with help from multiple agencies Rancher Jim Martiny remembers his grandmother talking about…

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Grazing Permits – Process for renewing BLM grazing permits is extensive; lawsuits and appeals raise the bar, add time for review +
Central Idaho   | 
Land Management

Process for renewing BLM grazing permits is extensive; lawsuits and appeals raise the bar, add time for review Many ranchers…

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Bud Purdy – a progressive Idaho rancher and a legend +
Central Idaho   | 
Cattle

There’s a man in Picabo, Idaho, who’s been a true leader in the ranching and business industry, who also hunted…

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Reducing juniper for cattle and sage grouse +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Land Management

Juniper tree removal re-opens meadow areas for native plants, sage-grouse, wildlife and cattle Western juniper trees have been steadily encroaching…

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Mountain Home ranchers form first Rangeland Fire Protection District in Idaho +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Fire and Rehabilitation

Mountain Home ranchers form Idaho’s first Rangeland Fire Protection Assoc. with Idaho Dept. of Lands, BLM Over the years, ranchers…

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Butch Klaveano – Cooperative land management in heavy recreation area on USFS land +
North Central Idaho   | 
Land Management

Butch Klaveano – A Master of Multiple Use Management Butch Klaveano is a master of managing for multiple use. He…

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Ranching in Bonner’s Ferry – Ranching next to the Kootenai River +
North Idaho   | 
Cattle

Ranching in the Kootenai River Valley is much different than in S. Idaho; plus, all about cattle brands The Kootenai…

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Mount Borah Ranch – Competing with frosty weather next to Idaho’s tallest peak +
Central Idaho   | 
Cattle

Smith family uses creativity, Yankee ingenuity to run Mt. Borah Ranch There’s never a dull moment at the Mount Borah…

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Frank Shirts – A year in the life of raising sheep +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Sheep

A Year in the Life of Raising Sheep From lambing to spring turnout, shipping to shearing Sheep ranching is an…

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Sheep in the Foothills – Annual spring education event for kids and adults in Boise +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Education

Kids, families learn all about wool, lamb and herding at Sheep in the Foothills event Several hundred kids and adults…

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Huge fires impact ranchers – Coping with large-scale fires +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Fire and Rehabilitation

Idaho ranchers hit hard by Pony/Elk wildfires; How do we avoid such huge fires in the future? On a hot,…

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Range Monitoring catches on with ranchers +
Central Idaho   | 
Land Management

Range monitoring catches on with ranchers to document ecological conditions on public lands Seth McFarland grew up on his family’s…

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Henry Etcheverry – Savvy Basque sheepman finds niche in competitive market +
Southeast Idaho   | 
Sheep

Henry Etcheverry – A savvy 21st century businessman and Basque sheep rancher Henry Etcheverry is a busy guy in early…

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Jared Brackett: Ranching in a Fish Bowl – Improving sage grouse habitat on BLM rangelands on China Mountain +
South Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Jared Brackett – Ranching in a Fish Bowl Jared Brackett raises black angus cattle in a  very remote area known…

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Idaho County Creative Weed Control – Targeting noxious weeds with strategic approach +
North Central Idaho   | 
Noxious Weed Management

Idaho County uses multi-pronged approach, computer-modeling to hold the line on noxious weeds Idaho County is the largest county in…

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Investing in Hells Canyon – Running a ranch to optimize range health for cattle and wildlife +
North Central Idaho   | 
Land Management

Investor Robert Stoll enjoys growing the value of High Range Ranch in Hells Canyon via land stewardship Robert Stoll is…

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Adaptive Management benefits sage grouse +
Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Rancher Tom Page works to improve sage grouse habitat on multiple ranch properties in the Pahsimeroi Valley Each spring, about…

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Lemhi Ranchers: Welcome home Chinook – Enhancing salmon and steelhead habitat on private lands +
Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Lemhi Ranchers: Welcome home Chinook salmon! Largest Chinook run since 1960 coincides with tour of fish habitat improvement projects Salmon…

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John and Diane Peavey – Founders of Trailing of the Sheep Festival +
Central Idaho   | 
Sheep

John and Diane Peavey – an Idaho power couple who have enhanced education, natural resources policy Many miles north of…

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Spring Turnout – Trailing cattle on U.S. 95 to reach spring pastures +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Land Management

Ranchers cope with vehicular traffic on U.S. 95, ATVs in Owyhee County as they turnout cattle to public lands Spring…

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BLM Paradigm Project seeks to break fire cycle +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Fire and Rehabilitation

BLM Paradigm project seeks to break repeated fire cycle in SW Idaho with aggressive fire breaks plan Dozens of range…

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Targeted grazing with cattle to create fire breaks +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Fire and Rehabilitation

BLM experiments with targeted grazing, using cattle to “mow” fire breaks in the Owyhee Front The Bureau of Land Management…

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Idaho Envirothon – Nature Resources competition prepares high school students for college and careers +
Central Idaho   | 
Education

Idaho Envirothon challenges students to engage in critical thinking, craft solutions to natural resources issues More than 80 kids from…

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Pole Creek Conservation Success Story +
Central Idaho   | 
Conservation

Finding water for endangered salmon and cattle in the Sawtooth Valley – A conservation success story It’s mid-September, and endangered…

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Range Monitoring Part 2 – Joint BLM-ISDA initiative to expand photo monitoring on rangelands +
Southwest Idaho   | 
Land Management

Training, multi-agency partnership inspire over 100 Idaho ranchers to engage in range monitoring More Idaho ranchers are getting involved in…

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Grazing in Harriman State Park +
Eastern Idaho   | 
Cattle

Striking a careful balance between grazing, wildlife, history and fishing at Harriman State Park A big group of cowboys came…

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