Borderlands Restoration Network is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the work of building a restoration economy in the Borderlands with some amazing member organizations. This week we want to share some of the great work happening at our member organization: Cuenca Los Ojos.
Read on for an article from one of their recent newsletters. Read more about CLO and join their mailing list by visiting them at the following link:
Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation
What does a volunteer experience at CLO? Each visit is unique. This newsletter describes some of the ideas that Isaac of the Chaa ranch in Texas was exposed to as he did his volunteer work...
Passing on to the Next Generation
Good land management takes into account not only agriculture and cattle but also water and fish, soils and plants, insects and small and large mammals. All play an indispensable role in a healthy environment. CLO concentrates on water recovery because water supports life, so the first task was to study the stream, how water moves, where the force is strongest, where vegetation has been able to establish and is slowing the flood flows and where rock retention structures (gabions) will be needed.
The following day, three investigators from Sky Island Alliance Bryon, Stuart, and Tom came out to find a spring. They were equipped with nets, a water kit to test Ph, a pipe to measure flow, and a half globe. Looking into the globe one can find one’s position relative to the horizon line and in doing so determine the amount of sunlight that spot receives. Isaac went out with them to find the spring which they never found. I think it was a difficult task because, water was seeping out of the hills everywhere.
Next Isaac went to Mexico where for two weeks he learned how to plant trees to help restore native habitat and prevent erosion. Gerardo took Isaac with him to check the game cameras. Isaac said:- “ While we were out, we stopped by the pasture where the adult cows were being held. What a sight, hundreds of mature cows surrounded by tall grass, the animals themselves some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen”.
Previously Jose Manuel had taken Isaac to show him how we are doing restorative grazing. - “Properly handled and rotated the cows will eat invasive species, including buffel grass which is a big problem in Texas. Jose Manuel makes sure cows have enough protein which is easily observed in their manure. He does not worm or use pesticides on the cows. As a consequence down the line dung beetles are able to break up and incorporate manure into the soil and this action allows nutrients and bacteria to be available to plant life which creates a healthy environment”.
Finally, Joe Manuel took Isaac to see the water restoration and the gabion work that is the signature work of CLO. Isaac closes his report saying "it is really amazing to see how many local people are involved in the ranch and native restoration efforts in Mexico, a community of people young and old , what it used to be like in the US, but now we can only dream about. I am very inspired by how accessible the ranches appears to be to kids, scientists, anyone, who wants to come and learn”.
To see more of the great work happening at Cuenca Los Ojos, to make a tax-deductible donation, or to subscribe to their newsletter, visit their webpage at: https://cuencalosojos.org/