One of the primary reasons we moved away from the Netherlands to Canada was to have more nature and wildlife surrounding us.
We have always aspired to be sustainable and be considerate in our land use and managment strategies. Our ranch in the Netherlands was ECO certified, we were accredited by the Dutch Rare breeds association in our endeavors to keep a healthy, viable rare breed of sheep, ensuring that the genetics were not lost. Our primary work was the grazing and maintaining of nature reserves, maintaining heather fields, grazing river dykes and working together with the State Forestry Deparment in various grazing projects.
Moving to Canada, was a continuation of these ideals.
It soon became apparant to us that Predator Management in Canada was a one strategy program, kill predators. As this went against our ideals of sustainability and our appreciation of the wilderness, we chose to focus on non lethal predator management.
As livestock ranchers we have a responsibility to protect our livestock from predation, and as stewards of the land, we have a duty to protect the land, habitat and wildlife that inhabits this land. We have focussed our efforts on Co- Existence.
Wolves, bears, coyotes and other predators are part of this Canadian wildness, they play an essential role in keeping the land, the deer, elk, moose and other animals healthy.
We recognise the importance of having stable predator populations on the landscape, and have invested in, and continually look for new ways to manage our livestock in such a manner, that predation is not an issue. We apply various management strategies, including the use of livestock guardian dogs to help protect our vulnerable livestock.
Our ranch became the first ranch in Canada to be certified Predator Friendly.
A few years later, the Predator Friendly organization merged with the International Wildlife Friendly Network. Our ranch was visited and auditted and we were accredited Wildlife Friendly.
We have spoken at various large events and conferences, (ranching to conservation conferences) on our non lethal maneagement strategies and our livestock guardian dogs.
We believe that ranching and conservation can, and should go hand in hand.