Forage Intake

A 1980-81 study evaluating forage intake of horses and cattle showed mares consumed 20% more forage than cows of approximately the same weight. Lactating mares and cows consumed 20 and 16% more forage dry matter that non-lactating animals. Mares grazed significantly longer than cows (18 hours vs. 11 hours per day). Diets were similar for the two specie with cattle consuming 7.7% forbs and browse compared with only 1.4% for horses. Dry matter digestibility was 10% greater for cows than for mares. Horses proved to be capable of clipping grass shorter than cattle, which could be detrimental to the range under heavy use.

San Juan Basin Research Center

Research at the Old Fort provided many opportunities for graduate student research projects at Colorado State University. Over 40 MS theses and Ph.D. dissertations have been written on data collected at the Old Fort (San Juan Basin Research Center), and over 200 scientific papers and popular articles have been published.

In June 2010, Colorado State University closed the San Juan Basin Research Center at the Hesperus location.

View historical research records

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The Old Fort

18683 CO-140
Hesperus, CO 81326

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Land Acknowledgement 

We acknowledge the land that the Old Fort is situated upon is the ancestral land and territory of the Nuuchiu (Ute) people who were forcibly removed by the United States Government. We also acknowledge that this land is connected to the communal and ceremonial spaces of the Jicarilla Abache (Apache), Pueblos of New Mexico, Hopi Sinom (Hopi), and Diné (Navajo) Nations.

The Old Fort and Fort Lewis College are committed to reconciling their history as a federal Indian Boarding School from 1892 to 1909.

Learn more about reconciliation


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The Old Fort is owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed by Fort Lewis College.