Utah 2015 W.F. Goring and Son Inc. Deweyville Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

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 worked with the 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.

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Like other ranchers, the Gorings have contended with drought. They installed a watering system comprised of 20 miles of pipeline, 34 troughs, a well, generated power lift stations and 10 storage tanks. It provides individual watering sources to their 13 lambing pastures. 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 federal lands. Due to their sustainable approach to range management, the Gorings estimate they could withstand a 50 percent reduction in the amount of grazing on federal land and still sustain their sheep numbers.

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Being sensitive to sage-grouse and upland game bird habitat, 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 of the Utah Grazing Improvement Program.

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