Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship

Grazing management in the San Luis Valley CO

Researching bark beetle impacts on Rocky Mountain forests

Sunset in SE Colorado

Touring a ranch in SE Colorado

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.


  • Colorado Section Society for Range Management Scholarship

    The CSSRM is offering $1,500 scholarships for students, ranchers, and other professionals to pursue academics and projects benefitting rangelands. Applications are due by May 28, 2021. More information can be found here: https://www.cssrm.org/scholarships.html

  • Enrollment is open for 2021 Summer Field Course

    The Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship summer field course will be offered from July 23 to August 15, 2021 (note the new dates due to COVID-19). We will be accepting ten students, so get in touch soon about enrolling. See the Education page for more details. Enrollment information will be updated soon.

  • CSU Extension internship program

    Internship opportunities for the summer of 2021 have been announced! The CSU Extension internship program offers 10 week internships across Colorado and a $4,000 stipend. The program offers hands-on learning at the county/local level in addition to research and outreach. The Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship program is proud to be mentoring an internship in Grand County. Visit intern.colostate.edu to view internship opportunities and apply. Applications are due by February 5, 2021