Regenerative. Is it just the latest buzzword? A fancy marketing claim, sort of like “natural,” “local,” or “sustainable”?
To us, “regenerative” comes down to using practices that improve the land. And we aren’t just talking about a narrow view of “improvement” that increases productivity. Regenerative, as we see it, is an approach to healthier land, livestock, wildlife, and even human, economic, and community wellness.
But as more and more producers (even big ag) begin jumping on the bandwagon behind the “regenerative” term, more and more of our customers rightfully want to know what we mean when we use that word, and they want to know that we have results we can demonstrate.
And you’ve got a right to know. So in the following writeup, we’ve summarized the verifications, practices, data, and test results that will give you a sense of what we mean by “regenerative” and the specific results we’ve achieved through regenerative practices.
Note that the data below is all a work in progress. We want you to know where we’re at right now, so we’re sharing even the stuff we don’t have all the numbers on yet. And we want your feedback (unfortunately the website won’t allow you to leave a comment on a static page like this one, so just leave your note in a comment on this week’s main newsletter page, or just shoot us an email at help[at]alderspring[dot]com).
The truth is that we’re always testing and improving. We don’t think we’ll ever reach a point where we feel we’ve “arrived” and have met all of our regenerative objectives. That’s the fun part for us. We can keep learning and finding new ways to do better by our land, animals, and yes, customers.
Thanks so much for being part of the journey.
Regenerative Ranching & Carbon Sequestration Data on Alderspring Ranch
Note that the following report is quite academic in tone. This was initially written as a summary of our regenerative practices to provide as proof for USDA label approvals.
Introduction: About Alderspring Ranch
Alderspring ranch is a certified organic grass fed cattle ranch in the central Idaho Rocky Mountains. The ranch is owned, founded and operated by Glenn and Caryl Elzinga and their seven daughters, ages 16 to 29, and a few solid ranch hands. For 30 years, they have raised black Angus cattle on their ranch, and for over 20, they have direct-marketed their production to consumers throughout the US. Their current annual production hovers around 400 beeves a year off of their 50,000 acres (consisting of private property as well as a BLM/Forest Service public lands grazing allotment).
The ranch is a relatively simple operation. The Elzingas raise and finish their animals (now including horses for riding and work, hogs and sheep for sale) on grass that they intensively manage with adaptive planned grazing protocols. There is very little large farm equipment use, no manure concentrations, no cropping, and no feedlots. It is animals on grass. The Elzingas use animal power whenever possible, and dirt bikes, ATVs and pickup trucks to get around. They embrace technologies such as GPS, smartphones, electric fence and market their products on the internet using recyclable packaging. They use no fertilizer. The animals live outside all year and are not placed in barns or any confinements.
The following sections will summarize Alderspring’s regenerative practices, studies, and 3rd party certifications.
Section 1: Summary of Alderspring’s Regenerative Practices
Pahsimeroi Ranch (Home ranch)
The Pahsimeroi property has been managed regeneratively since 2005, incorporating rotational grazing, minimal tillage, cover crops, frost seeding to increase plant diversity, and pasture winter feeding.
Irrigated Pasture Management
- All crop land was converted to permanent pasture on the home ranch in 2005. On a small area (about 15 acres) in 2018-19, pastured pigs, light tillage and cover crops were used in an experiment to reduce quackgrass and increase diversity.
- Pastures are managed for plant species diversity and soil health.
- The ranch has used an adaptive portable grazing plan since 2004 with high-frequency pasture moves and short-duration grazing.
- Winter feeding utilizes stockpile to increase soil organic matter.
- Winter feeding is done on open pastures, increasing organic matter applied over the winter.
- Results: increase of organic matter from an estimated average of less than 2% to an average of 7.75% (see soil test results in Appendix). Pasture plant diversity doubled to quadrupled (depending on pasture). Carrying capacity (number of cattle the ranch can support) has doubled as a result of increased plant density.
The ranch uses an electric fence system to precisely control cattle grazing and movements.
The ranch utilizes a winter stockpile grazing plan to increase organic matter through trampling and manure.
Pasture plant diversity has doubled in some pastures and quadrupled in others due to the prevention of selective grazing. Cattle disease rates have also decreased, likely as a result of increased plant diversity alongside low-stress management.
Rangeland Management (46,000 acre BLM and Forest Service Permit: Ellis, ID)
- The entire rangeland area of 46k acres has been certified organic since 2005. It is likely the largest contiguous block of certified organic land in the US, comprising just under 1% of all certified organic land in the US.
- Since 2015, the ranch has employed a unique management of cattle on extensive wild rangelands that they call “inherding.” All cattle on the entire landscape are managed as a single controlled group, and penned each night near a cow camp. Originally developed to reduce losses to predators (mostly wolves), the technique evolved to tackle environmental conflicts.
- Results: Riparian area improvement. Most of the 55 miles of stream habitat has not been grazed for 5-6 years, resulting in increases in fish habitat, sage grouse, and riparian habitat. See appendix for before and after photopoints of riparian areas on the rangeland.
- No upland use has exceeded 30%, and most areas are rested for 3-5 years, exceeding by many times the Forest Service and BLM recommendations.
- Loss to wolves is zero since 2015. Alderspring has achieved full non-lethal predator coexistence (zero interactions with wolves since 2015 due to human presence with cattle).
The Hat Creek Allotment consists of 46,000 acres of mostly dry and arid uplands as seen here. Since 2015, Alderspring has completely controlled grazing of uplands to prevent overuse and allow rest for native plant species
In addition, there are 55 miles of riparian streams on the allotment
The Elzingas ceased almost all use of riparian areas in 2015. Now, cattle are watered from portable stock tanks with no stream use
Stoddard Ranch (acquired spring 2022; Tendoy, ID; 550 acres)
The Stoddard property is a 550 acre farm Alderspring acquired last year. It is currently being converted from cropland (potatoes) to permanent perennial pasture.
- Year 1 (2022): Alderspring designed a regenerative soil improvement plan for the acreage and began to implement it.
- Year 1 (2022): Utilized a diverse mix of cover crops and late season rotational grazing to increase organic matter.
- Year 1 (2022): Winter of 2022/2023, utilized winter grazing to fertilize fields with manure and trampling of cover crops left standing over the winter. No chemical inputs used for fertilization.
- Year 2 (2023) will utilize a mix cover crop and perennial pasture species approach. Tillage will be minimal, and this will be the last year the property will be tilled.
- The entire property has been certified as organic.
- In 2022, the property was extensively sampled for initial soil organic matter to document change over time from management practices. The property will be resampled after a few years of regenerative management to assess results.
Glenn Elzinga standing in the cover crop planted on the Stoddard Ranch. This cover crop was grazed over the winter and much of it was trampled into the soil to deposit organic matter. This dried out grass wasn’t much good for feeding cattle, but trampling it into the ground was an excellent investment in Alderspring’s soil capital.
A field on the Stoddard Ranch just after it was acquired in spring of 2022. Before Alderspring purchased it, it had already been tilled for spring planting. The soil was no soil…but dirt.
The soil on the new ranch was sampled and tested post-purchase.
Section 2: 3rd Party Real Organic Project Certification
The organic grass fed beef produced by Alderspring Ranch has been certified by the Real Organic Project (ROP) since 2020. Alderspring Ranch was one of the first western operations certified by ROP.
The Real Organic Project (ROP) is a non-profit organization that offers an add-on certification to the USDA Organic label. The ROP certification program has additional requirements beyond the USDA Organic program to ensure that certified products are produced using regenerative organic practices.
The ROP certification program includes several requirements for regenerative agriculture, some of which include:
- Soil health: The ROP certification requires that farmers implement soil building practices, such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and reduced tillage, to promote soil health and biodiversity.
- Animal welfare: The ROP certification requires that animals are raised on pasture, with access to fresh air, clean water, and natural light. It also prohibits the use of certain practices, such as tail docking and dehorning, that may cause unnecessary harm to animals.
- Biodiversity: The ROP certification requires that farmers promote biodiversity on their farms, including the use of hedgerows, windbreaks, and pollinator strips to provide habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife.
- Social fairness: The ROP certification requires that farmers provide fair wages and working conditions for their employees, and that they prioritize community engagement and support local food systems.
- Regenerative agriculture: The ROP certification requires that farmers use regenerative agriculture practices to promote the health of the ecosystem and reduce the use of synthetic inputs.
It’s important to note that the ROP certification is an add-on certification to the USDA Organic label and that farmers must already be certified organic to apply for ROP certification. This means that ROP certified products must also meet the requirements of the USDA Organic program, which includes restrictions on the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Summary of real organic standards
Real Organic producers must demonstrate the following standards:
- Practices that build soil health
- Practices that increase biodiversity
- Animal welfare standards (free range on pasture, access to clean air and water). Prohibits many inhumane practices.
- Social fairness (fair wages and working conditions)
- Regenerative agriculture (must use practices shown to promote ecosystem health, must reduce synthetic inputs)
Alderspring has been 3rd party inspected and verified to meet these standards by the Real Organic Project
Section 3: Alderspring on the Cornucopia Organic Beef Scorecard
Alderspring Ranch has been listed on the Cornucopia Institute’s Organic Beef Scorecard with the highest-possible 1100-point rating for three years running (2021, 2022, 2023).
The Cornucopia Institute’s Scorecard is an annual listing that researches, rates, and highlights organic producers around the United States, in categories including meat, dairy, eggs, grain, produce, and more. As stated on the Cornucopia Institute’s website:
“The Cornucopia Institute continues to be a watchdog within the organic industry, working to protect the character of the organic standards while auditing the integrity of products bearing the organic seal.”
In each scorecard, the Cornucopia Institute assigns points based on a variety of practices and adds those points up to give each producer an overall score. Alderspring Ranch received a score of 100%, or the highest possible points, in all areas, including:
- Commitment to organic
- Beef finished on pasture and never in a feedlot
- Pasture and grazing management
- Environmental stewardship (includes managing for healthy soil, native species, and water quality)
- Feed sourcing (sustainability, transparency)
- Oversight (close management of cattle)
Riders live and camp with the cattle on the range for the duration of the summer.
Section 4: Carbon Life Cycle Analysis at Alderspring
The Elzingas undertook a Life Cycle Analysis study on the ranch in 2022 to determine where they stood in terms of the realities of carbon and climate change, and if they needed to change their production protocols to create a more carbon negative, climate positive growing paradigm. All data and calculations pertaining to the study can be found in the appendix at the foot of this document. The study methodology and results are summarized in the following paragraphs.
Alderspring undertook this Life Cycle Analysis in order to directly compare the ranch’s overall carbon emissions to carbon sequestration. As a result, both emissions and sequestration were measured in the study.
Alderspring’s sequestration numbers were calculated based on 3 soil tests over a period of time that measured change in organic matter, which directly corresponds to increased carbon content in the soil. The ranch’s soils were initially tested in 2010 after the ranch had been implementing regenerative practices for several years (likely, the soils had already improved prior to the 2010 testing, but that prior improvement is not included in the Life Cycle Analysis). The 2010 test provided a baseline number to calculate change in carbon in the soil. The 2010 test showed a ranch-wide average of 2.45% soil organic matter.
The soils on the ranch were retested in 2019 and 2022. Both tests showed an improvement over the previous test. 2019 showed an average of 6.45% organic matter, while 2022’s test showed an average of 7.75% organic matter for the ranch overall. Because the 2022 test is the most recent data available, it was the metric used in the Life Cycle Analysis. 2019’s metrics were not used. The 2010 and 2022 soil sample reports from the labs are given in the “Appendix III” section of this document. A summary of the precise calculation calculating change in soil carbon from the change in soil organic matter can also be found in the Appendices.
The increase in soil organic matter on both the home ranch irrigated pastures and the rangeland riparian pastures translates to 595.82 tonnes of elemental carbon sequestered on an annual basis (averaged over the 12 year period of the study). Mathematically, this is equal to an average of 2186.65 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 equivalents per year (atmospheric CO2 is the standard metric used in carbon calculations).
Alderspring’s overall carbon emissions numbers were calculated using standard industry carbon rates for fuel, electricity, packaging (of beef), processing (of beef), livestock emissions, etc. For example, Alderspring’s total fuel consumption for the year was input into the standard equation for calculating emissions per gallon of fuel (either diesel or gasoline).
Sources for emissions data used were the Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator: US Environmental Protection Agency and IPCC guidelines. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The precise calculations for Alderspring’s carbon emissions can be reviewed in the Appendices. The result was 1892.62 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 equivalents emitted annually in the entire process of production, processing, and shipping of Alderspring beef to customers.
The result of these calculations is that due to its regenerative practices, Alderspring puts more carbon into the soil than its operations release. Alderspring sequesters a net of 294 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 equivalents each year after subtracting all production emissions, making Alderspring a carbon negative and climate positive operation.
See appendices at bottom for more on the calculations in the Life Cycle Analysis.
Between 2010 and 2022, Alderspring sequestered a net of 294 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 equivalents each year after subtracting all production emissions, making Alderspring a carbon negative and climate positive operation.
Section 5: Beaver Habitat Recovery and Colony Count Increase on Alderspring’s Hat Creek Rangeland Allotment
In 2015, Alderspring completely changed its rangeland management paradigm to practice “inherding.” Inherding simply involves 24/7 riders on horseback that camp with and herd the cattle to grass. The human presence of the inherding model ended all interactions with wolves, but another objective of this new approach was to eliminate any grazing in riparian areas (streams, wetlands, and springs) through complete control of where and how the cattle grazed.
The operation was a success, and since the inherding model was adopted in 2015, Alderspring cattle imapcted an average of only 1000 feet each year of the 55 miles of streams found on the Hat Creek Grazing Allotment. Those 1000 feet are carefully chosen and highly resilient areas where the riders herded the cattle across the stream.
Because almost all grazing in riparian areas was ceased, the Hat Creek riparian areas demonstrated the rapid plant regrowth and soil organic matter increase highlighted elsewhere in this document. In addition, there was increased habitat available for beavers.
Since Alderspring adopted this model in 2015, beavers have begun to colonize the Hat Creek Allotment. There are now 14 active beaver colonies on the allotment, up from 0 in 2005.
Beavers increase habitat for other wildlife, raise the water table, improve drought resilience, and increase overall plant diversity and plant health. Beavers also directly increase soil organic matter and carbon stored in the soil.
As one study states regarding the importance of active beaver colonies in carbon sequestration and storage:
Differences in total organic carbon between abandoned and active beaver meadows suggest that valley-bottom carbon storage has declined substantially as beaver have disappeared and meadows have dried. Relict beaver meadows represent ~8% of total carbon storage within the landscape, but the value was closer to 23% when beaver actively maintained wet meadows.
(Wohl, E. (2013), Landscape-scale carbon storage associated with beaver dams, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 3631– 3636, doi:10.1002/grl.50710).
At Alderspring, no studies have yet been undertaken to precisely measure the increase in soil carbon likely resulting from the return of beavers to the landscape.
*colonies were not recounted in 2021, which is why 2021 shows no change
Appendix I: Life Cycle Analysis Study Documentation
ASSUMPTIONS MADE IN CARBON CALCULATION
- In this calculation, it is given that soil concentration of C is based on 55% of soil organic matter (most research states as much as 58%). (What is soil organic carbon?)
- An estimate of the mass of the carbon for a given area of is extrapolated using bulk density and total area of the land in question, given a soil survey sampling depth of 6 inches over 405 acres
- The soils on Alderspring are very clayey in composition, consisting in raw mineral form of volcanic ash with occasional cobbles (also volcanic in origin). The reader may note that bulk densities listed appear uncharacteristically low for agricultural soils, but these are due to the fact that much of the soil base is primarily clayey loams.
- At this writing, we have minimal data for the largest acreages under Alderspring’s management, the 46,000 acre Hat Creek Ranges. Agroecologist Nicole Masters worked with the Alderspring Team during the 2020 field season and gathered some preliminary data for carbon calculations. Those results look very promising, but are not entered in this data set. What is entered is a very conservative calculation of carbon deposition in the riparian (wetland ) areas of the range, which are easily measured in linear feet and square feet, on average from maps and Google Earth. These areas were chosen to add to that data set due their similarity to irrigated ground measured on the home ranch irrigated ground. They also were under an adaptive rotational grazing paradigm “inherding” that resulted in a dramatic resurgance of riparian (wetland) vegetation for years in this study. Photopoint before/after data of these areas demonstrating increased plant growth and cover are included in Appendix II. Though the increased riparian plant cover shown would also increase carbon sequestration numbers, there is currently no data measuring the exact increase in plant cover. As a result, only the very conservative estimate of increased soil organic matter is given for the rangeland portion of this study.
- Organic matter was measured by soil testing labs in 2010, 2019, and 2022. Western Labs, Idaho ‘10. Agvise, North Dakota, ’19, RegenAg Labs ’22. The soil sample results from the labs can be found in Appendix III.
- 3 sample areas were delineated on maps, and 6″ core samples were systematically placed across the map. GPS coordinates were generated of each point , and the samples were taken in the field. All samples were collected on irrigated ground, under center pivot irrigation systems. Total cores: 35.
- Sample depth stopped at 6″. The reason for that is that difficulties caused by the volcanic cobble, clay and root matrix made consistent sampling beyond 6″ very time consuming. Test holes dug below the 6″ depth showed that significant organic matter deposition was occurring beyond this point; this organic matter increase is not in the calculations.
- Bulk density (BD) was estimated by sampling in 2019 using the NRCS guidelines for rocky soils: volume of 2mm and below soil material removed from hole to be dried for weighing; particles greater than 2mm placed back in saran wrap lined hole for volumetric determination using a 50cc syringe. Microwave oven was used to dry soil samples; root materials were left in. When 4 repeated weighings were within 2 grams of each other, weight was recorded. No BD data was collected in 2010. Estimates were used for this exercise at 25% higher than 2019 (this correlates to lower OM content, as well as similar datasets evaluated on clayey soils).
Part 1: Carbon Sequestration Data
Home Ranch Carbon Sequestration
*BD was measured in 2019, and not originally in ’10, but extrapolated from similar soil results. BD in 2022 estimated with a slight reduction compatible with increased OM.
**Soil OM is from overall ranch average of given soil tests in 2010, 2019, and 2022. Soil test photo scans can be found in Appendix III.
Summary Calculations from Table Above for Home Ranch Carbon Sequestration:
Note that this table includes elemental C, not CO2 equivalents. CO2 equivalents is the unit typically used in carbon sequestration calculations. Later, in calculating net sequestration, the elemental C given here will be converted to CO2 equivalents.
Rangeland Carbon Sequestration
Alderspring currently has no test results for the 46000 acres of dry rangeland permit uplands on Alderspring, although, based on the preliminary data, those results would likely more than double the total carbon sequestered in this analysis. The rangeland portion that can be included in the calculation is the 55 miles of perennial watercourses on the Hat Creek range, due to their similarity in water regimen to irrigated ground and that grazing management is the same paradigm that is practiced on irrigated ranch ground.
Assumption 8: Soil OM increase on the range is conservatively estimated due to the following factors:
- Like the irrigated ground measured over the 10 and 12 year intervals, all of the riparian rangeland experienced a complete change in grazing management from one of continuous use to 98% non-use
- On the irrigated ground, the change in management from continuous to discontinuous resulted in a 4+ fold increase in SOM. Complete rest in rangeland riparian most likely increased SOM to an even higher degree.
- Photographic before/after evidence (photo points included in photo points section) and preliminary plant cover and soil data suggest that these rangeland riparian zones would show a similar if not greater soil organic matter increase as the Alderspring home ranch property. This estimate does not include the carbon sequestration impact of the increased plant cover shown in the photo points.
- Though Alderspring has no soil sample data for the Hat Creek riparian areas prior to the change in management practices, the ranch ran comparative soil and plant cover tests in 2022 on a section of the Hat Creek Range and a section of the Lawson Creek Range, an adjacent rangeland that has been conventionally managed. The study took place on dry upland zones with 7 inches of annual precipitation, not within a wet riparian zone. The two sections chosen were in the same precipitation zones, with the same slope angle, topography, mineral types, and plant community types. In the results, the overall plant cover of the Hat Creek sample area was about 50% higher than the Lawson Creek zone, and soil organic matter in the Hat Creek zone was roughly double (see graphic in Appendix IV). Again, it is notable that this study occurred in a dry upland region and not in a wet riparian region. It is conservative to estimate that if the Hat Creek upland shows a 2x increase in soil organic matter, the riparian area organic matter would conservatively be at least 4x due to the more rapid soil organic matter improvements that occur where there is higher water content and an active beaver presence.
*see assumption 8 above.
SUMMARY TOTAL FOR RANGE AND RANCH SEQUESTRATION
This is only on irrigated and subirrigated ground. Does not include likely increase on range uplands. Note that this metric is still in elemental CO2, not CO2 equivalents. Will be translated to CO2 equivalents in later calculation.
Part 2: carbon emissions data at Alderspring
Carbon emissions on Alderspring Ranch in CO2 equivalents, not in elemental C.
This section calculates costs of production on Alderspring with regard to C emissions directly through animal emission, petroleum use and indirectly through power usage. Power usage is on an opportunity cost basis, even though all of the power Alderspring uses comes from renewable sources such as hydro and wind in the NW US. It should be noted that fuel includes contracted fuel use, as Alderspring has removed all large equipment from their operation, and contracts hay harvesting. Literal horsepower is used whenever possible.
Sources for emissions data used but not measurable by this evaluation:
- Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator: US Environmental Protection Agency. This list of equations was used to provide numerics for emission calculations for many parts of the ranching operation such as fuel consumption and electricity use.
- IPCC guidelines. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: The panel provided currently accepted constants and data sources for the above EPA calculator as well as source estimates for emissions values based on their curated scientific published research. These figures were used to keep Alderspring’s calculations relevant and germane to current practice.
EMISSIONS FROM FUEL
Metric tonnes of CO2 per gallon burned (using recognized standards)
Gallons burned, avg per year by Expense reports from ‘10 to 22, Alderspring Ranch for all equipment and vehicles:
Included in the diesel (fuel oil) quantity:
- 300 gallons of fuel added for dry ice manufacturing. Dry ice in itself is an atmosphere Net Zero, as it comes from the atmosphere.
- 500 gallons of diesel added for jet fuel, UPS trucks for delivery (UPS sourced/converted from)
- diesel includes custom harvest of hay crops, pickups, hauling of beeves to process.
- Gas includes personal family use for 2 families on Alderspring
EMISSIONS FROM FERTILIZER, PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES
Since most of these agricultural amendments require petroleum for manufacture, or are even made from petroleum, these need to be in carbon calcuations.
Alderspring uses none of these substances anywhere in its operations. As a result, carbon dioxide equivalents emitted for agricultural amendments and chemicals is 0.
Photo: the Alderspring version of “herbicides” is a collection of grub hoes and weedwackers.
FIREWOOD BURNING TO HEAT 2 ALDERSPRING HOMES
There are 2 homes on Alderspring. Firewood is their primary heat source.
The EPA says that firewood burning is carbon neutral since if a tree fell, decomposition would result, which is equivalent to fuelwood emission.
There is opposition to that idea, because if green trees are removed for burning and not replaced, there are no new trees to remove the carbon from the atmosphere to negate the emissions. But on Alderspring, we only use dead trees. These are likely to burn on their own, and our harvest of them makes way for new trees to grow (there is adequate natural regeneration in the understory wherever we harvest).
As a result, Alderspring’s firewood use is still net 0 in carbon emissions.
All firewood collected by the Alderspring crew is from partially burnt and already dead trees left behind by forest fire.
BOVINE, EQUINE, OVINE AND PORCINE ATMOSPHERIC EFFLUENT EMMISIONS.
*150 to 225 lbs of methane a year (highest value found: 400), avg from literature (there is no conclusive research on the difference in methane emissions from grass fed cattle, although thought to be far less; grain fed values are used here).
The amount of all animals in each category is average numbers resident on the ranch over the study period (per year)
ELECTRICITY FOR IRRIGATION AND RESIDENTIAL USE ON THE RANCH, ON AN OPPORTUNITY COST BASIS, AS ALDERSPRING IS POWERED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES SUCH AS WIND AND HYDRO
*also included is KWh estimated in beef processing.
PACKAGING FOR ALDERSPRING BEEF
Estimated pounds of plastic and recyclable packaging produced and used per year, both in packaging of the beef and shipping to Alderspring customers.
TOTAL EMISSIONS TO PRODUCE ALDERSPRING BEEF
Summary of all calculations above:
Part 3: Carbon Net Calculation at Alderspring
*all numbers in table above are given in tonnes
Note that here the elemental carbon sequestration number from Part 1 is transformed to CO2 equivalents in order to compare with emissions, which are given in CO2 equivalents.
CO2 Equivalents Conversion:
Carbon has an atomic mass of 12 and oxygen has an atomic mass of 16. Therefore CO2 has an atomic mass of 44. This means that one kilogram (kg) of carbon will produce = 3.67 kg of CO2.
As shown in the above tables and data, Alderspring is a carbon negative operation. For the 12 year period in the study, Alderspring sequestered a net average of 294 tonnes of Co2 equivalents every year.
Appendix II: Before/After Photopoints Showing Rangeland Riparian Improvements on Alderspring’s 46,000 Acre Grazing Allotment
Note that all photo-points taken below in 2022 were taken in late September during one of Idaho’s worst drought years on record. The earlier 2001 photopoints were taken in July and during a typical rainfall year. This is notable because despite the drought and late season, the riparian zones in 2022 show high overall moisture, plant cover, and greenness levels. This is indicative of the results of improved plant cover and increased soil water retention in these areas due to the change in Alderspring’s management of these riparian zones.
Little Hat LHC-KA3 UP
Upper Post Looking Upstream
44.759370 N, 114.137869 W
KA Little Hat Creek LHC-KA3 UM
Little Hat LHC-KA3 MM or PP1
44.759340 N, 114.136946 W
Little Hat 1047065
Appendix III: Alderspring Home Ranch Soil Test Result Scans
If you would like to download a PDF scan of Alderspring’s 2010 and 2022 soil test results, click the button below.
Appendix IV: Additional Graphics Summarizing Alderspring’s Regenerative Management
Lawson vs. Hat Creek: comparison of similar zones on the Hat Creek (Alderspring) range vs. the conventionally managed Lawson range adjacent to Hat Creek. Overall plant cover was 50% higher in the zone measured on Hat Creek and soil organic matter was nearly double. The zones measured on each range were selected for similarity in angle, slope, elevation, rainfall, minerals, and plant community. Note that this comparison took place on an upland region, not within a riparian zone.
That is the current summary of Alderspring’s regenerative results. This page will be updated with ongoing information!