When I step onto a property owner’s land, I dream of seeing it as it should be. My goal is always to help property owners maximize the potential of their land, by taking it back to nature. I’ve always felt that we are privileged to walk this land and savor its natural beauty. As an arborist, my first duty is to protect the blessing that has been bestowed upon us by Mother Nature.
In the land management industry, I see many cases of people taking the land too far away from its roots. As humans, we often don’t notice this until it affects our bottom line or material possessions. The environment becomes unsustainable, and they spend years trying to get the land back to where it should be, so their crops will grow or animals can graze.
I recently had an experience while on the job that illustrates this common dilemma very well. In the summer of 2017, my team and I forestry mowed a 40-acre ranchette. In January of 2018, we went back, and the native grasses were five feet tall! As I surveyed the land, I saw that the other 40 acre tracts of grass had been mowed often, like you would in a suburban yard. There were bare spots everywhere with tiny patches of grass. There was nothing there for an animal to eat unless it was absolutely starving. This is not how the Earth should be treated.
Now, as you can plainly see, I’m rather sentimental when it comes to nature. I revere it. I depend on it for invigoration. So, seeing land in such a state of disrepair is saddening for me, and makes me nostalgic for what it once was. As I stood there looking out over the lay of the land, my gaze lifted up toward the horizon. Below it, was the Llano river water basin, and as far as you could see there were cedar trees. For a moment, I was lost in a daydream, and I saw the land as it had been thousands of years before: head-high grasses, buffalo, elk, bears, mountain lions. The nutrient-rich grass had a purpose to feed the animals that walked the Earth.
When I snapped back into reality and saw the empty plains in front of me, I was reminded that the land has lost its purpose. There are no animals grazing here. I can rehab the land, but I can never bring it back to the glorious state that it once was. I thought, “Am I experiencing the end of historical creation?” Are humans now gods of technology, rulers of agriculture, industry, the earth and its environment? I don’t want to be part of a world without environmental sustainability. In futuristic literature, the earth is always depicted as dead, dry, lifeless. Will that be our future?
We can all change this. We can promote stewardship for our blessed Earth. Every day I try to do this. Nurturing the land is not just a job for myself and my team, it’s a philosophy.
Forest and Land Management
I am writing on behalf of Carl Brockman, who performed land clearing for Black-capped Vireo habitat restoration for Travis County in February 2004. Mr. Brockman proved to be very professional and demonstrated a great deal of expertise, care and concern during all phases of the project. His understanding of native vegetation and our ultimate goal was paramount in allowing him to often work unsupervised. I strongly recommend his services for habitat restoration or manipulation. If you require any further information. please call me.Paul FushilleTravis County TNR
You and your crew did a wonderful job clearing and mulching at my place near McDade last winter. The woods were very overgrown after decades of neglect. In three days work, you and your crew removed a huge amount of brush and ‘fire ladders’, making a vast improvement for wildlife and fire safety. You listened to my requests but made numerous suggestions how to improve the plans that I had made, with the result of more benefits for wildlife and more beauty to appreciate. I was astonished how you guys could work fast and accomplish a lot with the big forestry mower, yet leave unscathed even small bushes we wanted to save. You taught me a lot about taking care of the place and the new pathways and pocket meadows have been a joy for me and my family. I’m looking forward to having you do more this year. Let me mention that all our interactions were very professional, your team came when you said they would, and I can’t think of anything to complain about. I recommended you to my neighbors and I’m happy to answer any questions about your work. Best regards, Dave Naumann Mc Dade, TX and Hoboken, NJDave NaumannLand Steward