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2009 Environmental Stewardship Award Winner

Region V: Pape Ranches Inc, Daniel, Wyo.

Norm & Barbara Pape, Fred & Michelle Pape, and David Pape - Nominated by Wyoming Stock Growers Association

Wyoming Ranch Wins Regional Environment Award


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Pape Ranches of Daniel, Wyo is a 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award winner.  Representing the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Region V, the Northwest’s, the Pape family was recognized at the 2009 Cattle Industry Summer Conference for their commitment to preserving natural resources.

Pape Ranches is family-owned and operated by Norman and Barbara Pape, with the assistance from their sons Fred and David, and their families.  Established in 1917 by Norman’s father, Lester Pape, the ranch began as a 160-acre, 800 sheep operation.  Today, the family owns 10,475 acres of private rangeland and irrigated grassland and has grazing allotments on federal and state allotments.   Norm and his family stock 1,000 mother cows, and at times, have about 2,700 total head when all livestock are on the ranch.

Since Norman’s father first began the operation, Pape Ranches has centered on these five ideals: keep the ranch as a working cattle ranch; provide a place for family to live and work; preserve open spaces; continue to provide resources for the wildlife; and provide public access so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of our country.

“Norm and his family take pride in the sustainability of their operation,” said Dave Petty, chairman of the Environmental Stewardship Award selection committee and 2001 national award winner. “The Pape family has been doing the right thing for generations through the management of resources, livestock and wildlife.  Each member of the family is important and provides leadership beyond their fences and into the community.”

The Environmental Stewardship Award – now in its 19th year – is an initiative of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, with funding from Dow AgroSciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“It did not take long for me to recognize that the Papes were held in high esteem in the community,” said Eric Peterson, extension educator, University of Wyoming.  “Good ranchers, yes; but more importantly – good, actively involved citizens!”  To that effort, the Papes have implemented a number of practices aimed at protecting and improving the land upon which they make a living. These include:

  • Lease additional private ground to raise more hay and rest some pastures for wildlife and conservation
  • Strive for as much wildlife on their private land as they can afford to sustain, including moose, elk, pronghorn, deer, waterfowl, sage grouse and others
  • Provide wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities for those less fortunate, including elderly and handicapped visitors
  • Apply tebuthiron for brush management with the assistance of Wyoming Game and Fish to address grazing and sage grouse migration and habitat needs
  • Pro-actively monitor feed sources that enable the adjustment for grazing periods and density
  • Installed cross-section fencing of large pastures that provide improved grasslands
  • Installed wildlife-friendly fencing all along a major highway and replaced approximately one-half mile of woven wire fence with a 4-strand wire fence to benefit antelope migration
  • Fabricated a water control structure that uses water from one field by creating a large storage reservoir that allows further control over application of water, timing of water, provides waterfowl habitat and provides a winter source of water that doesn’t freeze

Pape Ranches was nominated for the Environmental Stewardship Award by the Wyoming Stock Growers’ Association, with which the family has partnered to host Environmental Stewardship tours.  In addition, the Papes have partnered with Wyoming Game and Fish; Wyoming Department of Transportation; Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program; Wyoming Livestock Board; local FFA and 4-H; and United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Each member of the Pape family has also taken an active role in state leadership positions, including the Wyoming Livestock Board, FFA, 4-H and their local Cattlemen’s association.

“Norm and family should be commended for their commitment to preserving the legacy,” said Petty.  “Each family member is integral in the day-to-day dealings of the operation, which is evident through their daily morning planning meetings.”

The Environmental Stewardship Award has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for almost two decades. Regional and national award winners are honored for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitat while operating profitable cattle operations. For information or to nominate a cattle operation, visit the Award section.

The National Cattlemen's Foundation advances the future of the beef industry with passion and urgency for the benefit of consumers and cattlemen.

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