- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) - When Roland Spencer was born, some 51 years ago, he said it was with a kind of connection to the land that was so deep, it almost felt like it was a part of him everywhere he went.

That’s not too surprising for the son of a farming family from Winfield, Kansas.

Spencer said ideas about land management and ways to help landowners ensure their land produced crops while still remaining healthy were always running through his mind, even at night.

And that is just how the idea for his land management company, Ranchland Development Inc., came about - at night, the Woodward News reported (https://bit.ly/1kSuf9J ).

“What led to this was that I was thinking about a way to put all my skills, talents, education and equipment together in a way to serve landowners,” Spencer said. “It came to me in the middle of the night in 2005. I sat straight up in bed and there it was, the whole concept, the name, the everything.”



And so, Ranchland Development was born. Not one to do anything in a small way, Spencer threw everything he had into the endeavor, he said.

Most days, if he’s not running equipment, he is driving around, getting to know farmers and ranchers in the region and letting them talk about their own particular land troubles, he said.

For some, it might be acres and acres of sage that sucks up the water and won’t let any grass poke through, while for others with creeks and small streams, the salt cedar is robbing the tributary of flowing water.

Since he opened his business in 2005, Spencer has been busy using his unique equipment to help landowners in Oklahoma and Kansas and Colorado get back in control of their land.

Over the last nearly 10 years, Spencer has been using a fascinating piece of equipment to grind down Red Cedars and still other equipment to clear salt cedars from waterways.

He has also been building ponds, terracing, treating or removing sage brush and plumb brush, performing safe and effective prescribed burning, creating new corral projects and just about any other land development type of work for which one might find a need, he said.

“There is no one piece of equipment that efficiently tackles all the tasks in land clearing or clearing of pastures,” Spencer said. “What I have tried to do at Ranchland, is have an assortment of machines and attachments for specific tasks and when all machines are used in combination, we get the best results depending on what the landowner wants.”

Add to the mix that many land owners these days want to do whatever they can to improve pastures while enhancing wildlife habitat and the popular notion that has become nationwide and you have a pretty busy guy.

Key among what Spencer wants to provide for landowners, he said, is a way to rid pasture land of the pesky and destructive Red Cedars as well as the salt cedars that are responsible for the evaporation of hundreds of gallons of water from rivers and streams in the region.

According to Steven Smith in his article for the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Easter Red Cedars, while native to Oklahoma, are taking over.

“Many people have the misconception that trees equal wildlife habitat. Unfortunately, when we are talking about cedars in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas, this is not always the case,” Smith noted in his report. “In 1950, cedars covered approximately 1.5 million acres in Oklahoma. By 1985 this had risen to an estimated 3.5 million acres and by 1996 an estimated 6 million acres.”

According to Spencer, the process he uses to rid the landowner of the Red cedars is to grind them down to a small stump, then removing the mulch, he applies a special chemical to the stump.

“In another ten years, if we don’t start addressing this, there will be no more pastures,” Spencer said. “They will be consumed by Red Cedars.”

Spencer believes with the proper management of land, owners can begin to realize more grass, better yields from their grazing cattle and the perfect wildlife habitat.

For more information about Spencer and his specialized cedar tree removal equipment go to www.ranchlanddevelopment.com or email stewards@ranchlanddevelopment.com.

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Information from: The Woodward News, https://www.woodwardnews.net

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