When I step onto a property owner’s land, I dream of seeing it as it should be. My goal is always to help property owners maximize the potential of their land, by taking it back to nature. I’ve always felt that we are privileged to walk this land and savor its natural beauty. As an arborist, my first duty is to protect the blessing that has been bestowed upon us by Mother Nature.
In the land management industry, I see many cases of people taking the land too far away from its roots. As humans, we often don’t notice this until it affects our bottom line or material possessions. The environment becomes unsustainable, and they spend years trying to get the land back to where it should be, so their crops will grow or animals can graze.
I recently had an experience while on the job that illustrates this common dilemma very well. In the summer of 2017, my team and I forestry mowed a 40-acre ranchette. In January of 2018, we went back, and the native grasses were five feet tall! As I surveyed the land, I saw that the other 40 acre tracts of grass had been mowed often, like you would in a suburban yard. There were bare spots everywhere with tiny patches of grass. There was nothing there for an animal to eat unless it was absolutely starving. This is not how the Earth should be treated.
Now, as you can plainly see, I’m rather sentimental when it comes to nature. I revere it. I depend on it for invigoration. So, seeing land in such a state of disrepair is saddening for me, and makes me nostalgic for what it once was. As I stood there looking out over the lay of the land, my gaze lifted up toward the horizon. Below it, was the Llano river water basin, and as far as you could see there were cedar trees. For a moment, I was lost in a daydream, and I saw the land as it had been thousands of years before: head-high grasses, buffalo, elk, bears, mountain lions. The nutrient-rich grass had a purpose to feed the animals that walked the Earth.
When I snapped back into reality and saw the empty plains in front of me, I was reminded that the land has lost its purpose. There are no animals grazing here. I can rehab the land, but I can never bring it back to the glorious state that it once was. I thought, “Am I experiencing the end of historical creation?” Are humans now gods of technology, rulers of agriculture, industry, the earth and its environment? I don’t want to be part of a world without environmental sustainability. In futuristic literature, the earth is always depicted as dead, dry, lifeless. Will that be our future?
We can all change this. We can promote stewardship for our blessed Earth. Every day I try to do this. Nurturing the land is not just a job for myself and my team, it’s a philosophy.
About Carl Brockman
An Austin native, Carl Brockman is passionate about preserving the natural landscape of Texas. Carl is an ISA Certified Arborist, formally trained in prescribed burn management and in wildland firefighting, educated in wildlife management, and has more than twenty years experience helping landowners realize their properties’ potential. Through Carl’s experience and vision, Natural Texas has the ability to increase the productivity of your land, as well as its value.