If you’ve spent any time reading our blog or talking to our partners and employees, then you know how proud we are of the Running Y Ranch. Not only does that farm have amazing soil, terrific water rights and produce some of the best crops in the Basin, but the amount of wildlife around those fields is outstanding. Elk and deer graze our fields (and raid our hay sheds!), raptors glide through the skies above the ranch while ducks, geese and swans stop by on their migrations along the Pacific Flyway. If you appreciate wildlife, then you can understand why we feel the Running Y is a more than just another farm to us.
With that in mind, our CEO and partner, Bill, wanted to reach out to the Winter Wings Festival and offer our fields for tours in 2016. For those unfamiliar with the Winter Wings Festival, it’s a yearly event held by the Klamath Basin Audubon Society (KBAS) over President’s Day holiday weekend that brings birders from all over the world to the Basin to take birding tours, attend workshops about bird behavior and photography, and basically talk birds! Considering the tundra swan migration is happening that time of year, it’s a great opportunity to show people how agriculture and wildlife can co-exist.
The offer was extended and Diana Samuels, one of the organizers for the Winter Wings Festival, suggested that in preparation for 2016 some members of the KBAS pay the Running Y Ranch a visit. On February 21st, Caleb Sundahl, Mihajlo Matic and Lexi Crawford met the local Audubon Society to take photos, watch birds, look at where to take their birders next year and talk logistics. Though there was less snow than we’d like for this time of year, it was a beautiful day to watch the swans, answer questions about our farming practices and make plans for next year.
After KBAS’s visit with members of the Gold Dust crew, we’re looking forward to having the birders visit our fields for the 2016 Winter Wings Festival. Thank you to the Klamath Basin Audubon Society for coming out and seeing what we can share with birders. We’re looking forward to their tour next year!
By the way, before we wrap this up, the photos for this post were taken by Lexi and Bart Crawford’s son, Walker. Thanks for the snaps, Walker!