ROLE OF THE FAITH RANCH AND MAPE'S RANCH
IN RECOVERY OF THE ALEUTIAN CANADA GOOSE
The Mape's Ranch, owned by the Bill Lyons Sr., family, and Faith Ranch, owned by the Bob Gallo family have been used for years by geese, ducks, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds. Grazing and farming operations on the ranches create short-grass pastures, agricultural fields, stock ponds, and scattered wetlands -- all the things that attract wintering geese and sustain them through the winter.
In 1976, researchers discovered that the small Canada geese that had been using the Mape's and Faith ranches for many years were, in fact, federally endangered Aleutian Canada goose subspecies. At that time, the Lyons family, and the Paul Davies family, then owners of the Faith Ranch, graciously allowed researchers access to their ranches for annual population monitoring, and closed their properties to hunting of small Canada geese. Subsequent monitoring revealed that more than 98 percent of the Aleutian Canada goose population wintered on the two ranches. In 1989, Bob Gallo purchased the Faith Ranch from the Davies family, and has continued to allow researchers to monitor the geese.
Over the years, both the Bill Lyons Sr. family and the Bob Gallo family have maintained a deep interest in and concern for the welfare of Aleutian Canada geese. The Gallo family has even grown corn for goose forage, and the Lyons family provided water at their own expense for roost ponds. Today, the Lyons grow corn on refuge lands on a share-crop basis and graze their cattle on refuge pastures in exchange for providing water for roost ponds and conducting other management services on refuge lands. The Gallo family is developing roost ponds and enhancing goose habitat on their ranch through various cost share programs.