Near the west side of the Wellsville Mountains is Goring Ranch, a third generation sheep outfit owned and managed by Bill Goring, his wife Sherie and their son Blake. Bill attributes his family’s good fortune in the business to the hands-on approach and strong initiative passed down from his father, who built the ranch from scratch.
Early on, Bill and his father recognized the need to be involved in organizations that saw livestock as a management tool to maintain healthy ranges and sustainable forage resources. Goring Ranch has been involved with organizations such as USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency to improve and responsibly develop the rangeland for the benefit of the ranch and the environment. Bill credits those organizations for helping the family best apply their time and money.
Like many of their ranching neighbors, the Gorings have had to contend with drought. Their recently-completed water system is comprised of 20 miles of pipeline, 34 troughs, a well, generated power lift stations and 10 storage tanks. It provides individual watering sources to all 13 pastures on their lambing grounds. To control soil erosion and conserve water for their sheep, the Gorings terraced all of their dry farm area and built water impoundments.
Recent droughts have increased the likelihood of future reductions in allowed grazing on Bureau of Land Management lands. Due to their sustainable approach to range management, the Gorings estimate they could withstand a 50% reduction in the amount of grazing on BLM land and still sustain their current sheep numbers.
W.F. Goring & Son Inc.
Being sensitive to sage-grouse and upland game birds on their land, the Gorings burned and mechanically removed strips of forage brush on 1,800 acres so that the natural forage can thrive. They also re-seeded these areas with grasses to benefit the birds and sheep.
“The Gorings have created an example of the critical balance between economic, ecologic and social sustainability in their management of resources. The land resources, wildlife, watersheds and rural communities where the Gorings operate are all blessed by their presence,” said Bill Hopkin, Director, Utah Grazing Improvement Program.