What We Do
The Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship Program, hosted by the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, is a developing academic and research initiative aimed at addressing today’s challenges of ranching in a rapidly changing world. Our program is founded on understanding the diverse ecosystems that define western landscapes, and the natural resources and processes that support ranching communities. We work closely with ranch owners, managers and stakeholders to identify education and research needs specific to the Rocky Mountain West. Ranches serve as the classroom and laboratory so students can learn by hands-on experience, interact with practitioners, and see first-hand the strategies used to keep working lands sustainable.
Support higher education, applied research and professional development for future generations of ranchers, producers and land stewards through experiential learning and engagement in the Rocky Mountain West.
Promote sustainable ranching practices through traditional and contemporary approaches that support our forests, rangelands, wildlife and water while fostering livelihoods and strengthening the resilience of working landscapes.
- Scholarships Now Available for New Students Enrolling in the Master of Natural Resource Stewardship
Three, $6,000 scholarships are available for students enrolling in the Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship Masters Specialization in the spring of 2024. Students must apply by December 8 to be considered for this scholarship. See the Education page for more information about applying.
- WRMES Partners with Jemez Pueblo and The Nature Conservancy to Explore Applications of Virtual Fencing
Researchers at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory have recently launched a four-year project working with Jemez Pueblo Natural Resource Department to improve management and conservation of range and water resources using new virtual fencing technologies. Funded by The Nature Conservancy, the project aims to strengthen resilience of natural resources and biodiversity in light of recent droughts.
- WRMES Research Team Awarded $1 million NASA Grant to Advance Remote Sensing Tools for Ranch Management
The NASA Acres [AV1] consortium is NASA’s U.S. focused agriculture program. The research team from the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory is working with ranchers and associated organizations in the arid Western U.S. to understand the most impactful opportunities for remote sensing to support rangeland management and developing use cases for the application of remote sensing to rangeland and ranch management.
- Quivira Coalition Podcast Features the Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship Program
We sat down with host of the Quivira Coalition’s Regeneration Rising podcast, Taylor Muglia, to talk details of the Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship Program and options beginning agrarians might have for further education. We discuss the Summer Field Course, the importance of learning alongside peers of diverse specialties, and how to think about the “flavors” of grad school to choose the right path for you. Access the podcast here.