Oliver ranchers honoured with stewardship award

Oliver ranchers honoured with stewardship award

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Dave and Wanda Casorso from Oliver have won the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award for their commitment to the grassland ecosystem. Photo contributed

Dave, Wanda Casorso committed to ecosystem

Dave and Wanda Casorso from Oliver have won the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award for their commitment to the grassland ecosystem. Photo contributed
Dave and Wanda Casorso from Oliver have won the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award for their commitment to the grassland ecosystem.
Photo contributed

The BC Cattlemen’s Association is pleased to congratulate Dave and Wanda Casorso, owners of Casorso Ranch, for receiving the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) Environmental Stewardship Award.

Casorso Ranch is a cow/calf operation located north of Oliver on a series of sensitive grassland benches above Vaseux Lake.

Doug Fossen, BCCA Environmental Stewardship chair, sees Dave and Wanda as leaders in environmental stewardship.

“They have made their ranch fit the environment they live in, instead of trying to change the environment to fit their ranch,” said Fossen. “They have built a large, healthy working cattle ranch in a severely challenging climate. The Casorsos are a great example of a resourceful and dedicated BC ranching family.”

Dave and Wanda are committed to environmental stewardship; every day they take care of the land, water, livestock and wildlife.

“We are honoured to receive this award from our peers and fellow stewards of the land,” said Dave.  “We saw the successes of other ranches and we realized the potential on our land to improve sustainability.”

Through the Environmental Farm Plan, Dave and Wanda were able to develop a plan to improve their ranch sustainability.

“Part of our plan included creating several irrigated pastures to better utilize our grass,” said Dave.  “Now we can put more cattle on less acres and that leaves us with a better habitat for wildlife and a cleaner water source.”

Raising cattle in one of Canada’s driest climates, Dave and Wanda knew they needed to manage for the sensitivity of the grassland ecosystem and for water efficiency.

The South Okanagan region receives only six inches of precipitation annually – that is less than half the precipitation of Lillooet and approximately 10 per cent of the precipitation of Abbotsford.

Other aspects of their plan included new riparian fencing along sections of a creek flowing through the ranch to allow natural re-vegetation and an innovative gravity- fed irrigation system with upgraded high efficiency irrigation equipment.

“Water is critical to our ranch. These improvements have allowed us to do more with less water,” said Dave.

Casorso Ranch was presented with the award at the annual general meeting of the BCCA on May 24 in Vernon.  It is a prestigious award that annually recognizes a British Columbia beef cattle producer or a group of local cattle producers for innovative stewardship practices and management tools aimed at improving the environmentally sustainability of the ranch.

As the recipients of the BCCA award, the Casorsos are entered in the national environmental stewardship award offered by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association will announce the recipient in August.

Contributed

To the Chronicle

 

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