A group of Nevada ranchers started thinking differently 22 years ago — well before recent federal land management agency mandates to improve the health of sagebrush country. This included using holistic resource management to balance livestock grazing with increasing native plants and wildlife habitat.

Now, Agee Smith says his operation depends on it.

Smith is the fifth generation in his family’s line to run the Cottonwood Guest Ranch, a cow/calf beef and guest ranch recreational operation located in Nevada’s remote northeastern corner, in the shadow of the rugged Jarbidge Mountains.