Drought and resilience in the Sonoran Desert with Sarah King

Sarah King and her husband manage the King’s Anvil Ranch in the Altar Valley, near Tucson, Arizona. Sarah is also the executive director of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance. AVCA is a watershed based collaborative conservation organization founded in 1995. They use a strongly collaborative, science-based, community driven approach to conserve and sustain both the community and natural resources of the Altar Valley for future generations.

Water is a critical issue for landowners south of Tucson. Sarah and the other members of AVCA are working on some interesting projects to manage water and enhance their watershed. WLA’s chief programs officer, Hallie Mahowald, dove into this tricky topic with Sarah in today’s episode. Enjoy!


Links and references from Drought and resilience in the Sonoran Desert with Sarah King

Altar Valley Conservation Alliance

Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act of 1980

See the King’s Anvil Ranch and hear more from Sarah in this video by Pima County, from 2019

Topics Discussed

[00:00:31] Introduction

[00:02:08] What ‘Dry’ Means in the Sonoran Desert

[00:03:06] Resilience in Ranching

[00:03:57] Stewarding Water and the Importance of Flexibility

[00:06:55] Water and Ranching with Wildlife

[00:08:35] How Groundwater is Regulated

[00:09:49] Land and Water Stewardship with Altar Valley Conservation Alliance

[00:13:02] Erosion Control and Keeping Water on the Landscape

[00:17:48] Challenges to Scaling Up

[00:22:03] The Future of Less Water in the West

[00:24:52] What keeps you up at night, and what gives you hope?

Episode Transcript

that looks like is just different than a lot of the rest of the country. Parts of our ranch get about 10 inches of rain a year, and other parts could be more in the 12 to 14 range, and that’s sort of an average year. You know, certainly a drought year would be much lower than that.

I think 2020. It was 2.5 inches here at the house.

[00:00:31] Introduction

[00:00:31] Hallie Mahowald: Hi there, and welcome to the On Land Podcast. I’m Hallie Mahowald, Chief Programs Officer for the Western Landowners Alliance. Today on the show, I had the pleasure of talking to a landowner, rancher and longtime member of WLA, Sarah King. Sarah and her husband manage the King’s Anvil Ranch in the Altar Valley near Tucson, Arizona.

Sarah is also the executive director of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance. A V C A is a watershed based collaborative conservation organization [00:01:00] founded in 1995. They use a strongly collaborative science-based, community driven approach to conserve and sustain. Both the community and natural resources of the Altar Valley for future generations.

As you might imagine, water is a critical issue for landowners south of Tucson. Sarah and the other members of A V C A are working on some interesting projects to manage water and enhance their watershed. I’m excited to dive into those with Sarah King right after this break.

[00:01:34] WLA Ad – Zach Altman: The On Land Podcast is a production of the Western Landowners Alliance, a nonprofit organization founded and led by landowners. We are committed to sustaining working lands, connected landscapes, and native species. Half of all the land in most of the best habitat in the West is privately owned. So if you care about the future of the American West, now’s the time to get to know the alliance and support private [00:02:00] land stewardship.

Learn more and join 

[00:02:08] What ‘Dry’ Means in the Sonoran Desert

[00:02:08] Hallie Mahowald: So Sarah, your family ranch is outside of Tucson in the Altar Valley. How’s the grass looking this spring? How do you feel like it compares to most more recent years? 

[00:02:19] Sarah King: So we are having a pretty good spring so far. It was a very good summer last year and we get a lot of summer moisture.

And then our winter moisture was pretty good as well. So we’re, we’re feeling very good. We had a very bad drought in 2020 going into 2021. So, There’s a lot of optimism coming off of that, that anything, anything is better than 2020 was. So we’re, we’re feeling pretty good this spring. 

[00:02:45] Hallie Mahowald: Nice. That’s great.

And recognizing that feeling pretty good. You are squarely in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, so very much desert, dry country. How do you feel like that desert context shapes what drought looks like [00:03:00] and what does resilience to drought mean in the context of this desert landscape? 

[00:03:06] Resilience in Ranching

[00:03:06] Sarah King: So I think our perspective on what dry is and what that looks like is just different than a lot of the rest of the country.

Parts of our ranch get about 10 inches of rain. A year and other parts could be more in the 12 to 14 range, and that’s sort of an average year. You know, certainly a drought year would be much lower than that. I think 2020, it was 2.5 inches here at the house for the year. So that’s, Uh, it’s pretty grim when that happens.

Yeah, definitely. So I think our built-in resilience is probably kind of a natural state of being down here. That it’s, it’s sort of like the desert and the plants here in and of itself, that everything’s a little prickly. Everything’s a little bit. It’s into water conservation, wherever it can, and I think the, the people who are ranching down here are pretty similar in that way.

[00:03:57] Stewarding Water and the Importance of Flexibility 

[00:03:57] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah. So can you talk a little bit more, I [00:04:00] guess, about how the desert landscape shapes how you steward water? I guess you’re saying it’s a kind of water conservation built into all of your management, but do you have some examples? 

[00:04:10] Sarah King: Yeah, yeah. Sure. So with most of our range landscape is just natural range.

We don’t irrigate most of it. And I know in a lot of the country there’s overlap with farming and ranching operations. You know, ranches will have hay that they put up in the summer and then feed out in the winter. And our landscape is a little bit different in that most folks don’t have a farm that they’re also operating, and so they’re relying on the range kind of year round or purchasing hay in some cases.

So, But that means that, you know, there’s not usually that fallback of the farming component of things, of growing hay and that type of deal. So there’s, um, pasture movements, there’s [00:05:00] water, and the water is really a key part of things in how the animals are spread on the landscape. My father-in-law when he was a child, I think, hauled a lot of water driving around in trucks.

And really, I think, did not enjoy that experience. Yeah. Heavy not, yeah. You know? Yep, yep. So, and I guess I should mention our, our ranch, our kids are the fifth generation on the ranch. So kind of in the concept that each generation sort of contributes something to the operation and building it. And really, I think of my father-in-law’s contribution, I mean many things. But in this vein, after his experience as a child, as a teenager and being the water hauler, he really did not wanna continue doing that. So our ranch is really designed around the waters and around where we can move waters and pipelines. And where drinkers are in order to give flexibility, um, of where you can graze then too.

I think there’s a lot of kind of thought of like, well, it’s just really simple to move animals, and you can rotate all these [00:06:00] pastures, but if your pasture doesn’t have water in it, You can divide ’em as small as you want, but if there’s no water in a pasture, then that’s not a good way to, to utilize your system.

So having some flexibility with water, whether like a drinker that’s built on a fence line so you can water off of either side of the fence line or having a pipeline that can flow to two different drinkers, wo different areas, you know, from one well, those type of systems are really important in our desert environment of having then flexibility in where the grass is, if you have flexibility in where you can move the water.

[00:06:34] Hallie Mahowald: Right. So really what you’re saying is that water becomes the limiting factor or the most important factor in how you’re able to manage when you’re thinking about managing grass and animals. And as things come up around, like you’re saying, maybe. More intensive management or grazing is all dependent on where you have water and how you can divide that up.

[00:06:55] Water and Ranching with Wildlife

[00:06:55] Sarah King: And then the other thing for us is that on our range, ranching and [00:07:00] wildlife are pretty entwined in that aspect of things, that there’s not a whole lot of water that’s out here year round except for the cattle operations. So there are stock tanks that ranchers have put in.

So they’re just kind of dirt tanks. People call ’em tanks, but they’re the, you know, the earth in structures. And then there’s so. The actual metal water tanks and that type of thing. But especially like that 2020 drought, you know, you really saw that where the animals had to water was what was in common with the livestock.

Yes. And that they really, you know, wildlife really depended on the ranching infrastructure as well. 

[00:07:33] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah, that’s a good point. And it is interesting to see how much overlap there is with wildlife, and livestock in those kind of situations where there’s such a limited resource. My understanding is that you’re not getting water for drinking and irrigation from the Colorado River based on where you all are located, and you’re not irrigating is what you also said, but you are using water, as you’re saying, to water livestock, and to move it.

So where does that water come from? 

[00:07:59] Sarah King: [00:08:00] Sure. So, yeah, so the CAP comes from the Colorado River, and that’s in the valley, that’s north of us. And the water out here in the Altar Valley is, well water people have a variety of wells on their places, kind of usually a home well, and then other livestock wells that are out on the ranches.

And there are, there are a couple folks in the valley who have irrigated pasture. I think it’s two. So the amount of irrigation is very small. Yeah. Much less than like in Colorado. So that’s a very, very different factor down here in, in how folks manage their places. 

[00:08:35] How Groundwater is Regulated

[00:08:35] Hallie Mahowald: Okay. And then is there a lot of regulation around that groundwater in those wells and how is it regulated?

And then also is how much water you can groundwater you use? Does that depend on drought or does that come up as part of kind of state policy around drought?

[00:08:53] Sarah King: Yeah, so we’re in the Tucson AMA, the Active Management Area, and that’s part of [00:09:00] Arizona’s, I think it’s 1980 Groundwater Code or ACT Management.

I’m not sure the exact name. Yes. Yes. Yes. And so with that, like there is monitoring of the wells that then gets reported if we do irrigation, that kind of stuff. Okay. They do monitor that use, and I believe Tucson’s is set up, so their goal is to have the same amount of water going in as being recharging, as being drawn out.

Okay. I think there are five active management areas in the state of Arizona and there are a couple of them that are in even more rural counties that are focused on ag and so there’s, there’s a difference in how they kind of measure success in that, but I think the Tucson Phoenix and there’s another one or are looking to have it be a equal and equal out kind of deal. 

[00:09:49] Land and Water Stewardship with Altar Valley Conservation Alliance

[00:09:49] Hallie Mahowald: Okay. So they’re both measuring how much water you’re using and then also looking kind of broadly across that area and trying to figure out how to ensure that you’re not just depleting the aquifer. Okay. [00:10:00] Yeah. Interesting. So you talked about this a little bit when you were kind of talking about how you’re piping water and, and what you’re doing and, and managing your cattle.

But just to dive in a little bit more on kind of your land and water stewardship on both your operation, but then also the other landowners you work with. Through the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance, what practices are you implementing or planning to implement around land and water stewardship? And do you have new ideas that you’re excited to try?

And then I guess I’d also ask, you know, what do you see as kind of the. Barriers to maybe implementing some of the new ideas or practices that you have already been doing, but what are kind of the barriers to some of the land and water stewardship? 

[00:10:44] Sarah King: So the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance got started back in 1995 by the ranchers in the valley.

And was focused around erosion control work, particularly with the lens towards looking at the altar wash, which is a [00:11:00] linear feature that runs south to north in our valley. That was an old wagon road and there was one of those earth dams in the early 1900s that blew out, and then that water flooded the wagon road and, and slowly started to entrench that wash.

And that water funnels towards the Abra Valley north towards Tucson and then can cause some flooding issues down there. And then obviously it’s also leaving the Altar Valley landscape. Yep. So that’s been a real concern for folks out here along with, as you have the altar wash in the center of the valley, cutting down lower and lower than the other tributaries and stuff are trying to meet that.

Right. And, potentially lowering the ground table and stuff. So erosion in general, but the altar wash and then getting prescribed fire back on the landscape was the other large factor in the formation of the Alliance and what that’s, those things have looked like I bring up all the way back to 1985 because overall the same things are still at play in terms of, you know, asking if we’ve got new ideas and new things that we’re [00:12:00] trying.

Yes. But also based on those old issues and also some tried and true methods that we’ve been working on over the years. The prescribed fire aspect of things has shifted. I would say a little bit about overall brush management. Okay. And as I’m sure you’re familiar with fire in the West, there’s many complicating factors to it, and especially getting it on the landscape with liability issues, that kind of stuff.

We’ve really shifted towards looking at a variety of brush management techniques rather than just thinking prescribed fire. Okay. And that, you know, with the water, and for us, it’s mesquite encroachment. That’s the issue down here. Mm-hmm. And it is a native plant, but then if it overgrows in the grasslands, then you have more drawn water tables, more uses of water that way, less grass production.

[00:12:53] Hallie Mahowald: Right. And then it, I imagine it out competes the grass. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And so mesquite is the main kind of shrub that is [00:13:00] encroaching on your grasslands there? Yeah. Okay. 

[00:13:02] Erosion Control and Keeping Water on the Landscape

[00:13:02] Sarah King: Yep. So that’s what we’re looking at. So thinking about the water usage that way, thinking about forage use, usage and growth. And then with the erosion control pieces of things, the desert landscapes are really different than a lot of areas and different in how the water moves on the landscape.

We have mainly blue skies out here, number one, so there’s a lot of days with no rain, and so when the rains come, sometimes we get nice soft rains, but a lot of times we get intense rain events and that then leads to a flash flood type of landscape. Where you have water that can kind of travel and entrench and cause erosion, right?

So in what we’ve been talking about and in what we have found, we worked with a guy named Bill Zeedyk, um, starting. Yep. Um, most people who’ve talked about erosion at all. Stumbled into Bill’s stuff at various points. So Bill came out to the Altar Valley, I think in the [00:14:00] early two thousands and there there was a rancher, Peggy Rowley, who went to a Quivira conference and got to know Bill and kind of made all those linkages and Bill came out and worked with some of the one rock dams, which aren’t really dams in of themselves.

They’re just a one rock layer that then slows the water down and lets it infiltrate. Yep. So that’s really important for us because once the water’s on the landscape and it’s moving and it’s moving with intensity, that’s when you get the erosion head cuts and you don’t retain the water on the landscape.

Right, right. So, you know, in thinking about the big problem of the altar wash, which is a, a very large linear feature, kind of what Bill’s advice and others that we’ve heard and, and we’ve talked to a variety of people about doing large structures in the altar wash. You know, any number of series of things.

But really the consensus has been that if we can slow down water in the uplands towards the base of the mountains and get that to infiltrate, you know, that’s choking off the tributaries that are feeding the [00:15:00] altar wash and that’s letting water infiltrate into the valley in a variety of areas rather than once it just becomes a river in the middle of the valley and then is rushing downstream kind of thing.

So, So that’s for us, you know, it’s less in terms of new practices and, and this has been interesting to see in some of the federal funding that’s become available recently, there’s been, you know, a lot of talk about irrigation practices and changing water practices and that type of thing. And those aren’t really as applicable to us because most of the ranchers out here aren’t irrigating.

But there is, in terms of water conservation, there are these low tech rock structure methods that can be done on the landscape and are really our way of doing water conservation. That’s a little bit different than some of the areas of the West where water conservation is being thought about.

[00:15:53] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You’re right. With the, especially with a lot of the conversations around the Colorado River, there’s been a lot of talk [00:16:00] about managing for shortages that are much more about water use, but at the same time, as you’re mentioning kind of process-based restoration and lower tech restoration also seems to have really taken off, especially since I feel like the conversations around river restoration and these kind of topics used to be very focused on those.

Big structures in the rivers, you know, you’re talking about a million dollars a mile is what it felt like. It wasn’t quite that much. But you know, for those kinds of projects and now much more kind of beaver dam analogs or one rock dams as you said.

[00:16:34] Sarah King: And a lot of that is the risk factor too, that, you know, for us, If you put in a huge structure in the altar wash and that blows out, or is poorly engineered or whatever, combina, or just the a hundred year flood or whatever combination of things, right?

That’s gonna be a train wreck working at that scale. But some of the smaller structures, they are gonna require maintenance. Just kind of, you go out in the landscape, you see what you think is [00:17:00] gonna happen, you install the project, and then obviously there’s things that you thought wrong on.

I know we all like to think we’re right a hundred percent of the time, but sometimes that’s not the case. But, so there, you know, there’s a little bit of maintenance stuff, but even if you have something, a structure that fails, it’s usually not at a big enough scale to do serious damage is also the nice part about these structures that they’ve got a little bit more flexibility and a little bit more ease in adapting to what’s happening on the ground after you install them. 

[00:17:32] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah. And it’s interesting, as you also talked about that you’re also thinking about kind of the smaller tributaries or even really like the upland management of how are you turning it really from kind of what people talk about a watershed, but more into that water catchment kind of system.

[00:17:48] Challenges to Scaling Up

[00:17:48] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah. Before it becomes the raging wash that you’re then trying to control. Yes. So what do you think you have been any kind of barriers to maybe getting more of that work [00:18:00] done. You mentioned for prescribed fire, you know, there’s policies and and challenges there, and then you’re not that far from Tucson, so that probably plays a role also on this kind of process-based restoration or water management side.

Have there been any kind of regulations around it or. Funding or what are, what do you kind of have as your main barriers there? 

[00:18:20] Sarah King: So I would say, and this maybe the cop out answer to everything, right? But funding is a huge part of things that the installing these structures at the scale that they really should be, you know, you’re talking about a multi acre project and a lot of these rocks are being installed by hand, and you can get volunteer groups to help out, but you need a contractor who’s gonna quarterback things. Or somebody who’s gonna quarterback things, you need to acquire the rock. And sometimes you can find companies who are doing mining work and then looking to offset, and they might donate it, but you might have to pay for the transportation.

There’s just all the little [00:19:00] things and the big things add up. And then also, you know, you can place some of the rocks by hand, but some of them you can use a backhoe with a thumb. To pick up each rock and kind of put them in by hand, and so then their equipment costs and that kind of thing. So in looking to scale up the project areas, so.

I think that the funding is a real challenge. And then in that kind of what I was touching on earlier, that the understanding of the desert landscape and the importance of this kind of stuff is a little bit more limited. You know, when, when somebody, when there’s a funder who, if you could say like, we’re gonna change our irrigation method, right?

And it’s gonna save X amount of acre feet a year and like, perfect. There you have all the answers. And you know, this is a little bit more nebulous of you don’t have the water to measure, so, When you install these, but you can see we actually, so we have a project called the Elkhorn Los Delicias, a demonstration project that was one of these projects that went in on a fence line road and was designed to, to fix that [00:20:00] road and then do a bunch of work in the uplands.

And that’s been monitored for the last 10 years. Oh, it’s cool. Which is, Yeah, it, that’s a huge piece of things there. It’s very rare that some of these projects are monitored at all or for that length of time. Right. So to have, yeah, to have that data and showing that it is working, what the grasses look like behind those structures, you know, some of the structures over time, you almost can’t see them anymore because the settlement has started to settle in.

So, you know, you’re looking, you’re looking at slow change and you’re looking at very nebulous change in most cases, and certainly nebulous to the naked eye in a year. You know, you’re, so, when you’re talking about funding funders, like very quantifiable numbers. So if you’re, if this is gonna be a grant request, then it’s a little bit trickier to be able to say like, here’s my exact results on the ground and here’s what I have saved.

And then, you know, just, they are expensive projects. So if you’re looking, if you’re a landowner looking at installing one or that kind of thing, [00:21:00] that can be a challenge to come up with that upfront. My understanding is that NRCS over the last couple years has added them as a practice, so we’re excited to think about that and think about how NRCS funding might get some of that done on the ground too.

[00:21:14] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah, to have that cost share component that then maybe could be matched with some private funding rather than having to kinda look. Solely for private funding. And then I think you touched on an important piece also, it’s almost like an education piece is needed about the landscape and how this is all connected that has to kind of go along with a funding request rather than kind of more of that straightforward. At the same time, you know, from our perspective at Western Landowners Alliance and talking to landowners, that kind of whole picture piece of the landscape is so critical. So the kind of zoned in funding where people are thinking of water management as like as bank to bank is really missing that bigger picture that’s so critical if we’re really gonna talk about resilience and water conservation and wildlife [00:22:00] habitat and ranching and, and the totally and the big picture. 

[00:22:03] The Future of Less Water in the West

[00:22:03] Hallie Mahowald: And kind of on that note of, of zooming out, I guess a little bit from your valley and, and just kinda, I’d love your take as a rancher and as you think about the future of water in the West and assuming continued aridification population growth.

I mean, you’re sitting near Tucson. There’s certainly a lot of people in Arizona and also in the broader West. I think there’s a feeling that we’re gonna have to make do with less water, at least for the foreseeable future. Where do you think we need to be looking for longer term solutions, both in terms of conservation, but also in increased resilience?

[00:22:39] Sarah King: So thank you for that easy question. I’m glad, glad you just toss that out there. Perfect. Obviously I could, but you know the old whiskeys for drinking waters for fighting. Right. And I, I guess I feel like with all of that, that ‘it’s not my problem’ attitude is kind of the base of, [00:23:00] or is the antithesis to the base of a lot of the solutions out there that I think there’s nobody wants to do with less. The cities don’t wanna do with less. Farmers don’t wanna do with less ranchers don’t wanna do with less. And I think that there’s still, I think we’re working towards solutions. I think we’re starting to get mobilized a little bit, but I think there’s still just this desire for it to be somebody else’s problem.

You know, in the, I guess probably almost a decade ago, I was talking to somebody from California who is a friend of the family kind of thing. And, and she made a comment that it was during a drought in California and made a comment that like, well it’s, it’s the farmers. It’s the farmers. And it was very clear that she, cuz this type of stuff is hard.

She didn’t want it to be her problem. She didn’t want it to have to be cuts of shorter showers of running the tap, less of looking for those little opportunities. And I think, you know, the farmers. And ranchers [00:24:00] are in the middle of making a livelihood and water’s very intrinsically tied. So I mean, I, I think it’s gonna take everybody coming to the table and deciding that it is their problem, you know, to one extent or the other.

And that the challenge is getting people to engage in that way and then making that translate into action as well. 

[00:24:21] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s really well said, kind of the not in my backyard kind of opinion, or it’s always someone else’s fault. So then how do we get people to come to the table, collaborate and also, as you’re saying, not just talk about it, but start taking action.

[00:24:37] Sarah King: Yeah. Yeah. There does need to be action and it, it’s complicated and nobody, nobody wants to lose. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So, you know, I, I think that winning versus losing type stuff, you know, that that weighs heavily on people and it’s hard. Yeah. 

[00:24:52] What keeps you up at night, and what gives you hope?

[00:24:52] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah, it is. And I have to finish with this question cuz I, I think it’s an interesting one and it relates a little bit to kind of what you’re [00:25:00] saying and, and maybe it’s not quite what you, what keeps you up at night?

So I’ll just ask you the question, but you were touching on the challenges. In terms of whether it’s this western water crisis or, or just drought conditions. You mentioned a drought just a few years ago. A tough one. You know, what keeps you up at night? What worries you about it? What concerns do you have, but also what gives you hope?

[00:25:24] Sarah King: So I think, you know, I, I think in some ways that being a rancher, You go through this cycle every year where every year’s a new year and every year there’s hope and you’re kind of in practice at that. And for us down here, you know, we’re waiting for the monsoons to come. June’s usually a very dry month, and this is, it’s kind of a nerve wracking month of not knowing what’s gonna play out, are you in a good position?

How does your herd look? Do you need to start supplementing? What’s your water management situation? This is a stretch where there’s a lot of questions. I like to think that that annual [00:26:00] worry or that annual cycle has us in practice, it’s sort of thinking about some of these bigger issues. And maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.

Right. But you know, in terms of things that give me hope, I think that people working on solutions that you know, and, and I’m in collaborative conservation, so I’m a little bit biased in this direction, but I think that that people working towards solutions and people listening to one another and engaging with one another and trying to shift their perspective a little bit.

You know, trying to, to be that person who lives in LA and think about what that might look like to be a farmer and water usage, and try to be the farmer or the rancher who thinks about what that person in LA is, is thinking about. And that’s hard. That’s really hard, like, and, especially when you feel like you are, half of things, quote unquote, are, are at risk.

But I think that folks coming together, folks trying to bridge the gaps, folks working on solutions, that definitely gives me hope. I will say, I guess on the, the flip side of things that keep me up at night are that I, I feel like [00:27:00] we currently are really leaned into that polarization in politics and get on one side or the other of the canyon and yell at one another. And that, that rarely works towards solutions. That rarely gets anything done. And I think that. Yeah, that’s a pretty rough way to try to do things. And so I, I hope that people are leaning more into solutions and working with one another and seeing that this is, this water issue has been, is, will be a monumental problem and it’s gonna take some monumental teamwork and monumental solutions.

[00:27:35] Hallie Mahowald: Yeah. Yeah. That’s well said. I was, I was thinking when you mentioned that you’re in, you know, collaborative conservation, I was thinking there has to be some. I think you have to be inherently, somewhat hopeful or optimistic to work in that space. So 

[00:27:51] Sarah King: just keep showing up every day, chatting with people about different things.

Yep. Yep. Yeah. 

[00:27:57] Hallie Mahowald: Sarah, is there anything, I mean, so Western [00:28:00] Landowners Alliance, you’ve been a member for a long time and, and we’re a network of landowners and managers across the west. Is there anything else you wanna share with fellow ranchers, landowners on this topic? Anything else you wanna tell us today?

[00:28:14] Sarah King: Well, we sure appreciate the work that Western Landowners Alliance is doing of getting conversations happening on the ground, getting collaborative conservation groups networked and linked, coming to the ground, coming to these groups to ask for solutions and feedback. And then running that all the way up the chain to DC and having those bigger conversations about the things that impact everybody on the ground daily and what the, you know, something that looks good in policy.

What does that look like on the ground and having those conversations? So keep up the good work. I would say big thanks to WLA and to other ranchers and farmers on the ground. I think that engaging with WLA, engaging with processes in your area of, if that’s with [00:29:00] the NRCDs, if that’s with Farm Bureau Cattle Growers, you know, all those places where conversations are happening and things are getting sorted through, and this is the time to be building your community and talking about solutions and talking about how things are gonna look into the future and how to be part of the crowd. That’s getting something done. 

[00:29:19] Hallie Mahowald: Great. Thanks Sarah.

Excellent. Thank you so much for your time today, especially during a a busy season. Appreciate you showing up and talking with us. 

[00:29:30] Sarah King: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.[00:29:38] Hallie Mahowald: A big thank you to Sarah King for joining us today. Thanks to Louis Wertz for editing this episode. Stay tuned to the On Land Podcast for more conversations with water experts, innovators, and enthusiasts from across the west. If you like the show, give us a rating wherever you listen. Thanks for giving us some time out of your busy day.[00:30:00]

Hallie Mahowald is chief programs officer for the Western Landowners Alliance. She lives in Salida, Colorado, where she also serves as vice president of the board of directors of the Central Colorado Conservancy.