Early ranchers soon discovered the need to care for the land was as important as the animals and buildings themselves. The mountain climate offers a short season for the rancher to accomplish tasks that assure a good hay crop and adequate grazing areas.
Land management practices on MacGregor Ranch today include harrowing, aerating and irrigating the natural grass hay meadow, fencing and rotational grazing plans, road and trail maintenance and development of stock watering areas.
The MacGregor's soon discovered that water was essential to the Ranch's success and began constructing the 9-mile irrigation ditch system off of Black Canyon Creek. All three generations of the MacGregor family used the original irrigation ditches to bring water to the mountain meadows on the Ranch. Ponds were also constructed, and ice was harvested and sold.
Today, the gravity operated ditches are still used as the main method of irrigation for the Ranch. A series of 4 weirs are operated based on the original water rights from the MacGregor family.
The National Resources Conservation Service, a division of the USDA, assists the Ranch with development of grazing and land management practices. The CSU chapter of The Wildlife Society assists the Ranch with wildlife and ecosystem management. Eagle Scout candidates also provide labor for fencing projects related to livestock and wildlife management as part of a service project program.