ARVADA, Colo. – Beatty Canyon Ranch in Kim, Colo. was chosen to be the national winner of the 2020 Environmental Stewardship Award Program on Tuesday, Aug. 10. during the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. The program awards cattle producers who have outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers.
The family and faith-based ranch is owned and operated by Steve and Joy Wooten and Brady and Arin Burnham, managing 125,000 acres as the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of land stewards.
“Judicious management of our natural resources has sustained the ranch through hardships across generations,” said Steve Wooten. “We are so honored to be recognized for our family’s efforts to preserve the environment, support communities, and share our quality of life with others.”
Controlling invasive species, grazing management and improving wildlife habitat are some of the key reasons that BCR was chosen to be the national winner. The ranch is now focusing its attention on repairing a natural river system that runs through the land.
The Purgatoire River and Chacuaco drainage, both of which have been severely damaged by the invasive plant species tamarisk, run through several miles of the property. The ranch plans to remove the species, place more vegetative cover in the wetland zones and populate the river bank with willows. Tamarisk increases the soil and water salinity, so its removal is critical for water quality.
In 2002, Steve Wooten’s grandmother, partnering with the Colorado Department of Wildlife, transferred 17 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep onto the ranch. That herd is now the largest population of bighorn in Colorado at over 500 head.
“Steve has consistently supported grassroots policies and efforts that promote cutting-edge conservation efforts and natural resources stewardship on working lands, including the policy specific to climate goals for Colorado’s beef sector passed by our CCA members at the 2021 Annual Convention,” said Terry Fankhauser, Colorado Cattleman Association’s executive vice president.
To learn more about Beatty Canyon Ranch, visit the Environmental Stewardship Award website here.