The fact that 70% of the Native Grasslands ecosystem and 80% of the Aspen Parkland ecosystem in the foothills near Black Diamond have been destroyed, with a loss of up to 90% of the wildlife, has motivated Ben and Steph Campbell to rise to the challenge of developing a vibrant, healthy ecosystem on their ranch.
The aim is to raise and feed cattle in a sustainable way that benefits the land, the soil, and conserves the wildlife, there being a symbiotic relationship between them.
Wasps, bugs, ducks, native bumble bees, and brown bats are all being conserved and are thriving on the ranch - and predators like badgers, coyotes, bears and mountain lions are not eliminated. In Ben’s experience, “A healthy ecosystem manages and balances itself”.
Ben projected photographs which evidenced the difference between the green, fertile land on his ranch and the adjacent overgrazed land of a neighbour which was clearly not part of a healthy ecosystem.
Ben touched on climate change and how what he is doing on his ranch is designed to fight it.
The essence of Ben’s message is that on the Grasslands of North America, cattle can fill an ecological role and make the environment stronger, healthier, more diverse and more climate change resistant.
Ending off his lively, impassioned presentation and the subsequent question time, Ben reminded the audience of the inextricable relationship between people and the natural environment – when nature suffers, we suffer. The environment is critical because it supports the ‘family of humans’.
Here’s the link for the full recording of this presentation, which we hope you will view: