Founded in 1997 by myself, a rancher and another conservationist, the Quivira Coalition is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is “to build resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes through education, innovation, collaboration and progressive public and private land stewardship.”
Specifically, our projects include: an Annual Conference, a ranch apprenticeship program, a long-running riparian restoration effort in northern New Mexico on behalf of the Rio Grande Cutthroat trout, a capacity-building collaboration with the Ojo Encino Chapter of the Navajo Nation, various outreach activities, and the promotion of the idea of a carbon ranch, which aims to mitigate climate change through food and land stewardship.
In 1997, our goal was to expand an emerging ‘radical center’ among ranchers, conservationists, scientists and public land managers by focusing on progressive cattle management, collaboration, riparian and upland restoration, and improved land health. Our original mission was “to demonstrate that ecologically sensitive ranch management and economically robust ranches can be compatible.” We called this approach The New Ranch and described it as a movement that “operates on the principle that the natural processes that sustain wildlife habitat, biological diversity and functioning watersheds are the same processes that make land productive for livestock.”
During my tenure as Executive Director (1998-2012), at least 1 million acres of rangeland, 30 linear miles of riparian drainages and 15,000 people have directly benefited from the Quivira’s collaborative efforts. From 2006-2010 we managed the innovative Valle Grande Grassbank, located near Santa Fe, eventually becoming producers of local, grassfed beef. We also organized over 100 educational events on topics as diverse as drought management, riparian restoration, fixing ranch roads, conservation easements, reading the landscape, monitoring, water harvesting, low-stress livestock handling, grassbanks, and grassfed beef; published numerous newsletters, Journals, bulletins, field guides, and books.