Now showing items 1-20 of 2837

    • Cattle and Carnivore Coexistence in Alberta: The Role of Compensation Programs

      Lee, T.; Good, K.; Jamieson, W.; Quinn, M.; Krishnamurthy, A. (Society for Range Management, 2017-02)
      In Alberta, Canada beef producers share the landscape with large carnivores where interactions can lead to negative outcomes. We had 672 Alberta beef producers complete an online survey in spring 2014 to access the occurrence and outcomes of cattle-carnivore interactions. We found that a majority (64%) reported losses from carnivore depredation. The average rate of calf depredation was reported at 2%, but the rate was highly variable between producers (ranging from 0 to 25% calf loss annually). The direct annual economic loss to depredation for survey respondents was $2 million. This can be extrapolated with a number of assumptions provincially to $22 million. Alberta's Wildlife Predator Compensation Program (WPCP) paid out an average of $220,584 annually from 2011-2013. The WPCP was under-utilized, 64% of producers did not report to the program, and did not adequately address financial burden experienced by producers from 2011 – 2013. Producers identified a series of challenges with the WPCP including the excessive burden of proof and the effort to value ratio being too low. We provide recommendations to improve the WPCP based on a literature review and our survey findings. © 2016 The Author(s)
    • Plant Species Diversity, Drought, and a Grazing System on the Arizona Strip

      Hughes, L. E. (Society for Range Management, 2017-02)
      Maintaining plant diversity under livestock grazing and long droughts is a challenge in arid rangelands. Maintaining the plant diversity can and has been done through rotation grazing and movement of cattle from pasture to pasture at a trigger point. The trigger point is utilization levels of between 40% and 50% of annual growth of forage plants. © 2016 The Society for Range Management
    • Vegetation Restoration on the Pecos River in East Central New Mexico: Lessons Learned

      Stovall, S. (Society for Range Management, 2017-02)
      In this article, I share river restoration techniques for land owners whose ranch property boundaries extend to the middle of a river. These lessons learned may help other ranchers save money and time if they should decide to tackle similar river restoration projects. Restoration techniques include fencing, vegetation replanting, and addressing the challenges encountered from floods, droughts, and stray cattle. Dramatic changes in vegetation composition occur more quickly than originally planned. © 2016 The Society for Range Management
    • Seventy-Five Years of Vegetation Treatments on Public Rangelands in the Great Basin of North America

      Pilliod, D. S.; Welty, J. L.; Toevs, G. R. (Society for Range Management, 2017-02)
      Land treatments occurring over millions of hectares of public rangelands in the Great Basin over the last 75 years represent one of the largest vegetation manipulation and restoration efforts in the world. The ability to use legacy data from land treatments in adaptive management and ecological research has improved with the creation of the Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL), a spatially explicit database of land treatments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The LTDL contains information on over 9,000 confirmed land treatments in the Great Basin, composed of seedings (58%), vegetation control treatments (24%), and other types of vegetation or soil manipulations (18%). The potential application of land treatment legacy data for adaptive management or for retrospective analyses of effects of land management actions on physical, hydrological, and ecological patterns and processes is considerable and just beginning to be realized. © 2016
    • Does Size Matter? Animal Units and Animal Unit Months

      Society for Range Management, 2017-02
      The concepts of animal units, animal unit months, and animal unit equivalents have long been used as standards for range management planning, estimating stocking rates, reporting actual use, assessing grazing fees, ranch appraisal, and other purposes. Increasing size of cattle on rangelands has led some to suggest that the definition of animal units and animal unit months requires revision. Range managers need to understand these concepts and arbitrarily changing them would lead to confusion. The Rangeland Assessment and Monitoring Committee reviewed this issue and concluded that the existing definitions are adequate to accommodate increasing size of cattle. © 2016 The Society for Range Management
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2017-02
    • Coping With Historic Drought in California Rangelands: Developing a More Effective Institutional Response

      Brown, J.; Alvarez, P.; Byrd, K.; Deswood, H.; Elias, E.; Spiegal, S. (Society for Range Management, 2017-04)
      Drought response is widely varied depending on both the characteristics of the drought and the ability of individual ranchers to respond. Assistance from institutions during drought has not typically considered preemptive, during, and post-drought response as a strategic approach, which recognizes biophysical, sociological, and economic complexities of drought. A USDA Southwest Climate Hub-sponsored workshop brought together a range of representatives from public and private institutions with drought response responsibilities to examine how those institutions could better support drought decision-making. Institutions can greatly improve their support for individual land managers by doing more systematic collecting and organizing of drought-related information as a basis for programs, and by collaborating to enhance both institutional and individual learning. © 2017
    • Two New Mobile Apps for Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring by Landowners and Land Managers

      Herrick, J. E.; Karl, J. W.; McCord, S. E.; Buenemann, M.; Riginos, C.; Courtright, E.; Van, Zee, J.; Ganguli, A. C.; Angerer, J.; Brown, J. R.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2017-04)
      Opportunities for rangeland inventory and monitoring have been transformed by innovations in both indicator and methods standardization and new technologies. These technologies make it easier to collect, store, access, and interpret inventory and monitoring data. The Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS) platform and apps help users with little or no soils knowledge to describe their soil, and for those with little botanical knowledge to monitor key shifts in the relative dominance of plant structural groups. The system also allows users to easily share and compare their data with others. © 2017
    • Technical and Human Factors Hinder Medusahead Control in Northern Utah

      Coppock, D. L.; Hart, R. A.; Burritt, B. (Society for Range Management, 2017-04)
      We used social-science methods to study how social, economic, technical, and institutional factors have influenced medusahead control near Paradise, Utah, over the past 25 years. In general, control efforts have struggled. Each of the four factors can assume some responsibility for this outcome. Low and uncertain funding for both research and outreach, however, has been the major constraint overall. Research needs more funding to identify a reliable, cost-effective control program. Outreach then will have a message that landowners are eager to hear. Effective control methods can also promote improved weed law enforcement and the stability of state funding lines in support of weed management. Weed control, however, is also a shared responsibility. Landowners must be willing to make changes in grazing management that complement the application of new technology. “Silver bullet” technical solutions are unrealistic. Outreach needs more funding to support weed coordinators who can effectively work with the public. Today''s weed coordinator needs strong leadership, communication, and analytical skills. Recruiting and retaining such talent requires a commitment to higher levels of compensation than has been the norm. Despite the high socioeconomic diversity of landowners here, many have shared values on the importance of noxious weed control and the need for community collaboration. We also discovered that only 40 of 1,329 total landowners controlled 80% of all acreage, and 37 of these had never been engaged in formal weed-control efforts. This all represents untapped outreach opportunities, while the latter also illustrates the need for a targeted stakeholder analysis at the beginning of any weed-control project. Ultimately, research and outreach institutions must tackle funding gaps and build professional capacity to promote improved medusahead control. © 2017 The Society for Range Management
    • Juniper Invasions in Grasslands: Research Needs and Intervention Strategies

      Leis, S. A.; Blocksome, C. E.; Twidwell, D.; Fuhlendorf, S. D.; Briggs, J. M.; Sanders, L. D. (Society for Range Management, 2017-04)
      On the Ground Despite prescribed fire programs, invasive juniper trees are increasing in the Great Plains. Continued encroachment of junipers in the Great Plains, especially eastern redcedar and Ashe's juniper, is degrading grasslands and increasing health concerns through pollen production. Biological and ecological research needs include effects on soil and water as well as restoration potential after a mature invasion is treated. The interface of social science, ecology, economics, and policy may yield productive approaches to slowing the invasion. © 2017
    • Rancher Perspectives of a Livestock-Wildlife Conflict in Southern Chile

      HernÄndez, F.; Corcoran, D.; Graells, G.; RÕos, C.; Downey, M. C. (Society for Range Management, 2017-04)
      Biodiversity is an important ecosystem service provided by rangelands. However, the close link between biodiversity and rangelands often results in conflicts between human livelihood and biological conservation, as is occurring with the livestock-guanaco (Lama guanicoe) conflict in Patagonia, Chile. Understanding community attitudes and perspectives regarding conservation is critical for successful conservation. We conducted a study to assess rancher perspectives of traditional land-use practices and biological conservation to identify incentives for, and barriers to, guanaco conservation. Ranchers strongly valued biodiversity and demonstrated stronger support for the cultural value, rather than economic value, of guanacos. However, a negative perception was associated with guanacos, and guanaco overabundance was identified as the primary cause of the conflict. Use of a sustainable-harvest approach of guanaco products, which emphasizes the commercial value of guanacos, may not be an effective conservation tool for the species under current conditions. Moreover, identifying the cultural carrying capacity, ecological carrying capacity, and minimum viable population of guanacos will be important in guiding conflict resolution. © 2017 The Society for Range Management
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2017-04
    • Enhancing Wind Erosion Monitoring and Assessment for U.S. Rangelands

      Webb, N. P.; Van, Zee, J.; Karl, J. W.; Herrick, J. E.; Courtright, E. M.; Billings, B. J.; Boyd, R.; Chappell, A.; Duniway, M. C.; Derner, J. D.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2017-06)
      Wind erosion is a major resource concern for rangeland managers because it can impact soil health, ecosystem structure and function, hydrologic processes, agricultural production, and air quality. Despite its significance, little is known about which landscapes are eroding, by how much, and when. The National Wind Erosion Research Network was established in 2014 to develop tools for monitoring and assessing wind erosion and dust emissions across the United States. The Network, currently consisting of 13 sites, creates opportunities to enhance existing rangeland soil, vegetation, and air quality monitoring programs. Decision-support tools developed by the Network will improve the prediction and management of wind erosion across rangeland ecosystems. © 2017 The Author(s)
    • Upland Water and Deferred Rotation Effects on Cattle Use in Riparian and Upland Areas

      Carter, J.; Catlin, J. C.; Hurwitz, N.; Jones, A. L.; Ratner, J. (Society for Range Management, 2017-06)
      Our experience shows that land management agencies rely on upland water and deferred rotation grazing systems to reduce riparian use and improve conditions, rather than addressing stocking rate and requiring herding of cattle. Range scientists have published studies showing that cattle prefer to linger in riparian areas and that stocking rate is more important than grazing system. We collected 4 years of data on upland and riparian residual vegetation, riparian stubble height, and bank alteration prior to implementation of the upland water developments and deferred rotation scheme and compared that with 4 years of data collected after implementation. As a result of this change in management, post-grazing riparian stubble heights decreased; bank alteration was unchanged; upland residual grasses were reduced; there was no change in residual herbaceous vegetation in the riparian zone; and utilization remained excessive in both upland and riparian areas. Range science shows that to reverse this outcome and improve conditions, changes must be made. These include o setting stocking rates based on currently available preferred forage species and today's consumption rates of livestock,o enforcing utilization rates of less than 30% in upland and riparian areas,o enforcing riparian stubble heights of > 15.2 cm across the aquatic influence zone and floodplain,o enforcing bank alteration levels of < 20%,o using riders to limit riparian use and distribute livestock, ando providing rest, not deferment, so that sensitive native grasses recover vigor and productivity prior to being grazed again. © 2017 The Authors
    • Case Study: Using Soil Survey to Help Predict Sonoran Desert Tortoise Population Distribution and Densities

      Stager, R. D.; Roundy, E.; Brackley, G.; Leonard, S.; Lato, L. (Society for Range Management, 2017-06)
      Soils properties can affect the ability of an animal to dig burrows for habitat and survival purposes. The Sonoran (Gopherus morafkai) and Mojave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) require burrows that are at least 20 inches deep to help them thermoregulate during the cold of winter and heat of summer. Soils that have characteristics that restrict their “digability” would be expected to limit the population density and distribution of animals such as the Sonoran or the Mojave Desert Tortoise regardless of the amount of forage vegetation being produced. The Sonoran Desert Tortoise in Mohave County, Arizona, and possibly throughout its range may seek “habitats of opportunity” within boulder piles, under exposed bedrock, and in caliche caves due to the limited “digability” of the soils endemic to this part of the Sonoran Desert. The natural availability of thermoregulating burrowing habitat and temperature/precipitation records should be considered when interpreting any fluctuations in Sonoran Desert Tortoise population densities. © 2017 The Society for Range Management
    • Editorial Changes at Rangelands

      Karl, J. W.; Levi, E.; Hidinger, L.; Brown, J.; Dobrowolski, J. (Society for Range Management, 2017-06)
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2017-06