Creating a sustainable, resilient range is at the top of the list for anyone involved with ranching and agriculture in the Mountain West. For the next six months, Rebecca Ash will be helping local families do exactly that as Sheridan Community Land Trust’s Conservation Intern.

Rebecca graduated from Sheridan College this May with associate degrees in Land Range Management, Plant Science and Ag Business. She plans to pursue bachelor’s degrees in Ag Business and Land Range Management.

Until then, Rebecca will be building upon the work of earlier Big Sky Watershed Corps members by implementing solutions to address challenges to water and drought in Sheridan County.

“Rebecca is building upon the framework put in place by previous Big Sky Watershed Corps members, who identified what challenges and opportunities exist for Sheridan County families in terms of water quantity. Rebecca’s work will move this program forward by creating on-the-ground projects with real benefits,” remarked Meghan Kent, SCLT Conservation Program Manager.

How will Rebecca be helping local families by creating on-the-ground projects?

Kent said Rebecca be working with families to identify wet meadows where low-tech, low-maintenance rock structures can be placed to prevent erosion. These structures, called Zeedyks, help the soil retain water which creates better conditions for wildlife to feed, breed and rear their young. Wetter land also means higher forage quality for livestock and better production even in times of drought.

After spending last summer working as a field technician, Rebecca said she’s eager to help local ranch families help make their land more resilient to change.

“I am super excited to have the opportunity to work with and learn from others while serving the community,” Rebecca stated.

While not scouting locations, Rebecca will take charge of SCLT’s monthly water supply report and create a handbook that will help guide future volunteer projects for Zeedyks and other solutions that help our land and water.

Want to know if Zeedyks can help your land? Contact Rebecca today via email at [email protected] or calling the SCLT office at (307) 673-4702.