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Building the Backbone of Your Ranch: A Hands-On Guide to Developing Your Maintenance Plan

Several people asked us about how to develop a maintenance plan (https://www.storygroupland.com/post/the-top-five-steps-to-take-after-buying-a-ranch-a-guide-to-building-a-lasting-legacy) so the purpose of this post is to expand on how you develop a maintenance plan. Taking the reins of your new ranch is a bold move—it's a hearty handshake between you and the land. It's more than a business transaction; it's a promise to nurture and coax the best out of your ranch. But where do you start? How do you ensure your land not only survives but thrives under your stewardship? Let's roll up our sleeves and lay down the foundation for a ranch that's not just a piece of land, but a legacy.


Aerial view of large pond and trees

Vision: Seeing the Potential Through the Trees

Every ranch has a story it's waiting to tell and it is up to you to nurture and implement that story. Are you envisioning a hunter's paradise, brimming with wildlife at every turn? Or perhaps a retreat where family and friends can unplug and reconnect, against a backdrop of untamed beauty? Or do you see your property as providing the space to feed people? Pinning down your vision isn't just daydreaming; it's the compass for every decision you make down the line.


A hunter's haven will have you focusing on conservation and habitat management. A recreational getaway means carving out spaces for memories to be made, ensuring every trail and campsite invites adventure. And a working ranch? It's all about sustainable practices that keep the land fruitful and your herds flourishing. This vision is your north star—keep it in sight.


Roads: The Arteries of Your Ranch

Ranch roads are critical and often overlooked. On a large property, it can be hard to know how to get from one part of the ranch to the other. You should be able to get around your property within sight of the fenceline, and through your property with well-planned interior roads.

Pasture road with pretty background

Your roads are the first step to a well-oiled ranch operation. They're not just practical; they enhance the value and joy of your ranch, making every acre accessible and usable. One technique we have used to help new owners understand where their roads are and the quality of the roads involves mapping the roads on an aerial.


Being Ready: The Unseen Battles of Ranching

Now, for the grittier side of things. Owning a ranch is not without its battles—some against time, others against nature. Beavers building dams might seem quaint until you realize that the wood for the beaver's dam has to come from somewhere and that beavers often tunnel into dams, weakening them. A dam on the brink of failure isn't just a nuisance; it's a disaster waiting to happen. And diseased trees? They're not just an eyesore; they're a threat to the health of your forest and a hazard to anyone walking underneath.


Staying ahead of these issues means that you or someone with knowledge of the land needs to be involved. This does not have to be a big deal - just look around on your way to the deer stand or take the path less traveled every now and then. It's about knowing your land like the back of your hand and protecting it with the vigilance of a guardian.


Crafting a maintenance plan for your ranch is like drawing a map of dreams—it's the first step in turning 'what ifs' into 'what is.' It's a commitment, not just to the land, but to the future. As someone who's walked the walk, talked the talk, sold the soil, and landowners ourselves, we're here to tell you - the journey of ranch ownership is one of the most rewarding adventures you'll ever embark on. Let's get that plan in place, and make every acre count.

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