THE MANNIX FAMILY has owned and managed a sprawling ranch in the heart of the Blackfoot Watershed since 1882. Five generations of Mannixes have worked this landscape interwoven with streams that irrigate crops, provide water for cattle, and support blue ribbon native trout fisheries.
“Clean water is an indicator of sustainable management. Ranchers manage that landscape and it’s a measure of how well we’re doing it. In a real practical sense it’s about our survival.”
No individual ranch is an island by itself. The more we work together, the more effective we are.
Over the years, David has experienced the power of partnerships first-hand, through ranch improvements such as sustainable grazing plans, effective drought planning, and restored trout habitat.
When David joined the Blackfoot Challenge Board in 2002, he brought with him the “80/20 rule,” a hallmark of the Challenge’s community-based approach.
“We can agree on so many things if we just talk to people about what they want to achieve. If you can focus on the 80% of issues that we agree on, we can work together, build trust, and find success. Then if we do disagree, the trust is there to keep working on the other 20%.”
“Most of our kids would like to return to the ranch, if they haven’t already. A major reason why is because of this approach. We actively work together. This attitude attracts people who appreciate it.”
Header photo: Joe Milmoe, USFWS