Improved Pasture

Results from a 5-year study where beef grazed Russian Wild Rye, Intermediate Wheatgrass and these two species plus alfalfa show that beef produced per acre is determined not only for forage yield, but also by quality of forage.

The addition of alfalfa to pastures increased beef produced per acre 53% and 37% for Intermediate Wheatgrass and Russian Wild Rye mixtures, respectively.

Grazing studies on native range have shown the approximate amount of beef produced per acre for four different management alternatives: continuing grazing, 20 lbs.; rotational grazing, 30 lbs.; control oak brush and rotational grazing, 50 lbs, remove oak brush and reseed with grass legume mixture, 150 lbs.

FLC pature test area

Photo courtesy of SJBRC archives -1971

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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Please contact us to inquire about a new project at the Old Fort.

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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.

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