• Dietary overlap among cattle and cervids in northern Idaho forests

      Kingery, J. L.; Mosley, J. C.; Bordwell, K. C. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Botanical composition of diets and dietary overlap were investigated among free-ranging cattle (Bos taurus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in coniferous forests of northern Idaho. The study was conducted within the Abies grandis/Clintonia uniflora (grand fir/queencup beadlily) and Thuja plicata/Clintonia uniflora (western redcedar/queencup beadlily) habitat types. Botanical composition of ungulate diets was determined via microhistological analysis of fresh fecal samples collected in early summer, mid-summer, and early fall of 1987 and 1988. Dietary overlap was examined using Kulcyznski's similarity index. This formula also was used to compare the botanical composition of ungulate diets vs. plant community composition at 5 different seral stages: herb-shrub, sapling, pole, mature, and potential natural community. Cattle consumed graminoid-dominated diets from within early successional communities. Elk also foraged predominantly on graminoids, but elk foraging habits were more diverse and more variable amongst seasons than cattle. White-tailed deer diets were dominated by forbs and shrubs from within late successional communities. Competition for forage between cattle and elk was more likely in the grand fir habitat type, while forage competition between elk and white-tailed deer was more likely in the redcedar habitat type. There was little evidence of potential forage competition between cattle and white-tailed deer in either habitat type.
    • Evaluating changes in ranch management practices through extension education

      Richards, R. T.; George, M. R. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Since 1988, University of California Cooperative Extension short courses have been offered to 362 California ranchers and interested participants. The purpose was to assist private rangeland owners and managers in planning ranch goals, monitoring ranch operations, and establishing economically feasible and ecologically sustainable grazing management systems. In 1994, an evaluation study of the short courses was conducted to determine if the rancher participants had initiated successful improvements in their ranching and grazing management. A survey questionnaire mailed to all short course participants had a rancher response rate of 49%. Results of the survey indicate that over three-quarters of the ranchers had family operations, most of which were cow-calf operations. Almost 40% of the ranchers earned more than half of their income directly from their ranching operation. As a result of having taken the short courses, ranchers reported that they had improved or protected 14% of the rangeland which they owned or leased. Over half said that they had increased their ranching profits. A majority of respondents had implemented at least one ranching practice presented in the short course. These changes appear to be motivated from ranchers' needs to increase on-ranch profits through enterprise diversification, to cope with regulatory constraints, and to improve land management for future generations on a family ranch.
    • Honey mesquite influences on Chihuahuan desert vegetation

      Warren, A.; Holechek, J.; Cardenas, M. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Research has been lacking on the influence of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) on forage production in the Chihuahuan desert. In 1964 honey mesquite was controlled (65% kill) with the herbicide, Monuron, on portions of the New Mexico State University College Ranch. Both herbicide treated and nontreated areas occur within the same pasture on similar soils and have similar grazing histories (continuous grazing, conservative stocking rate). This has resulted in areas with moderate and low levels of mesquite (16% and 9% mesquite canopy cover, respectively). We evaluated relationships among forage standing crop, vegetation canopy cover, mesquite density, mesquite height, mesquite diameter, and mesquite volume on areas with low and moderate mesquite levels in fall 1992 and spring 1993. Regression analyses showed forage standing crop and canopy cover generally were not (P > 0.10) associated with mesquite height, mesquite diameter, canopy volume, and mesquite density on either low or moderate mesquite areas. Honey mesquite canopy cover on the non-treated area was nearly double that on the treated area. Data from long term permanent transects (1968-1992) showed no differences (P > 0.10) in total forage production between low and moderate mesquite areas in fall of 1992. On these transects mesquite increases in cover and density were over 3 times greater on the low compared to moderate mesquite areas in the 1982 to 1992 period. Our data indicate mesquite density and cover increase rapidly after herbicidal mesquite control even under conservative stocking. However at canopy cover levels below 17% honey mesquite appeared to have little effect on forage production. Potential maximum canopy cover of mesquite on these types of sites is about 37%. Our data show that under proper stocking both mesquite and perennial forages grasses can increase concurrently on desert grassland ranges. We recognize that the outcome of our study may have been modified with higher mesquite densities, different soil characteristics or a lack of desirable understory species.
    • Influence of rodent predation on antelope bitter-brush seedlings

      Clements, C. D.; Young, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC) is the most important browse species on many mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) ranges. California-Nevada interstate mule deer herds are critically dependent on antelope bitterbrush stands, in which many of these stands have been and are currently exhibiting little recruitment. Lassen is the only established cultivar of antelope bitterbrush. Rodent predation on Lassen antelope bitterbrush seedlings was studied in burned and unburned antelope bitterbrush communities in northeastern California during 1993. Rodent population densities were 15/ha and 14/ha in the burned and unburned habitats, respectfully. Rodent compositions consisted of the Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii), deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). Rodents significantly decreased antelope bitterbrush recruitment through grazing and disturbance of antelope bitterbrush seedlings. Ord's kangaroo rats preyed on higher numbers of antelope bitterbrush seedlings than did the other 2 common rodent species.
    • Optimization of seed priming treatments to increase low-temperature germination rate

      Hardegree, S. P. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Seeds of 4 range grass species were evaluated to determine the effects of priming-temperature, priming-water potential, and treatment-duration on subsequent germination response at 10 degrees C. Seeds of bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) Love], thickspike wheatgrass [Elymus lanceolatus (Scribn. and J.G. Smith) Gould; syn. Agropyron dasystachyum (Hook.) Scribn.], sandberg bluegrass (Poa sandbergii Vasey.), and bottlebrush squirreltail [Sitanion hystrix (Nutt.) J.G. Smith] were primed over the temperature range of 5 to 35 degrees C and the water potential range of 0 to -2.5 MPa for up to 10 days to determine optimal priming conditions among all treatment combinations that did not result in premature radicle emergence from the seed coat. Most rapid germination of treated seeds was obtained at priming temperatures considered optimal for germination of untreated seeds. Optimal priming conditions were found to be at water potentials equal to, or less negative than, the threshold water potential at which radicle emergence was prevented for untreated seeds. Germination response data for untreated seeds can be used to simplify the estimation of optimal temperature and water potential conditions for seed priming.
    • Relationship of dietary browse to intake in captive muskoxen

      Boyd, C. S.; Collins, W. B.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      The effect of dietary browse (Salix bebbiana Sarg.) on intake and activity of muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus Zimmermann) pastured in south-central Alaska was compared to animals on grass pasture only. In previous work, intake increased in penned animals fed increasing browse: hay rations, which presumably allowed for increased weight gain and wool fiber (qiviut) growth. Eight mature steers were divided into 2 treatments: 8 hours daily ad libitum access to browse plus pasture grass (Bromus inermis Leyss., Poa pratensis L. mix) or pasture grass only. Animals were placed in adaptation enclosures 10 days before each trial. Bundles of browse were tied to perimeter fences. Trials were conducted 3 times during the 1992 growing season. For the trials, animals of like treatment were placed in each of four 0.33 ha trial enclosures for 8 hours, every other day, for 6 days (3 trial days). Activity budgets were calculated using scan sampling. Hand-harvested simulated bites were weighed to determine bite size, an bite rate was calculated using focal sampling techniques. Intake was calculated as a function of bite size, bite rate, and time spent foraging. Intake was greater (P = 0.064) for animals with access to browse. Digestive physiology of mukoxen may have favored higher intake of a mixed grass-browse diet over grass alone. Previous data suggest that elevated intake increases weight gain and qiviut growth.
    • Repeat photography on range and forest lands in the western United States

      Hart, R. H.; Laycock, W. A. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Repeat photography is a valuable tool for demonstrating the effects over time of climate, management and other variables on range and forest lands. This bibliography lists 175 publications using repeat photography, with information on the ecosystems photographed, states where they are located, number of photographs, and dates when the photographs were taken. References to photography of 19 natural ecosystems, 2 cultivated ecosystems and 3 special problems are listed. The interval between photographs may be over a century or less than a year.
    • Seasonal diets of sheep in the steppe region of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

      Posse, G.; Anchorena, J.; Collantes, M. B. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Sheep diets were determined seasonally for large flocks grazing year-round in 2 landscape types of the Magellanic steppe of Argentina. A tussock-grass steppe of Festuca gracillima Hooker f. dominates the uplands of the whole area. On acid soils (Quaternary landscape), woody variants of the steppe prevail; on neutral soils (Tertiary landscape), woody plants are almost absent and short grasses and fortes are abundant. Principal taxa consumed throughout the year were: Poa L., Deschampsia P.Beauv., and "sedges &rushes". Consumption of woody species and of the dominant tussock-grass Festuca gracillima increased notably in winter. Despite the large proportion of species in common, diets differed significantly between landscapes. In the Quaternary landscape, which has a higher botanical diversity, diets were more dissimilar among seasons and had a higher annual diversity index. Because of their different composition of forage types the 2 landscapes differed in their overall grazing value. The Tertiary landscape, with a low floristic diversity but richer in highly preferred species as Poa spp. would be a more risky grazing area in winter, when an ice sheet or a snow cover limits harvesting of the lower layer of short grasses and forbs.
    • Society and Range Management: A Commentary

      Mitchell, John E.; Brunson, Mark (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
    • Sources of variation in attitudes and beliefs about federal rangeland management

      Brunson, M. W.; Steel, B. S. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Successful managers of federal rangelands in the next century will have to implement politically supportable policies that address both forage and non-forage values. To do so will require an understanding of beliefs and attitudes across a wider spectrum of American society than the traditional range clientele. In 1993 a study was conducted to examine geographic variation in general public attitudes and beliefs about federal range management, and the linkage between general environmental values, attitudes toward federal range policiy and management, and beliefs about environmental conditions on federal rangelands. While there was some evidence of an East-West dichotomy on range issues, greater support was found for a dichotomy between urban areas throughout the U.S. and rural regions where rangelands are important to local economies. Attitudes and beliefs about rangelands were typically rooted in simplistic, value-based ideas about the goodness or badness of range practices and conditions.
    • Ungulate foraging areas on seasonal rangeland in northeastern Oregon

      Sheehy, D. P.; Vavra, M. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      In much of the west, seasonal rangeland provides important foraging opportunities for wild and domestic ungulates during times when forage is often limited. We studied the use of foraging areas by Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsonii Bailey), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus Rafinesque), and cattle grazing the same seasonal rangeland in northeastern Oregon. We determined the potential for ungulate use to overlap and the influence of vegetation and terrain features on that use. Vegetation and terrain features of plant communities in the Festuca-Agropyron and Agropyron-Poa Associations were inventoried on a 1,844 ha study area of privately owned seasonal rangeland to define characteristics of ungulate foraging areas. Slope, aspect, elevation and, edge between bunchgrass and forested vegetation types, were evaluated from topographic quadrats. Observations of ungulate distribution on the study area were also obtained. A Geographical Information System using map overlays intersected spatially defined plant communities and terrain features with location of ungulates. Indices of ungulate preference for plant communities and terrain features were established. Discriminant analysis was used to determine which features were most likely to influence ungulate selection of foraging areas. Terrain features having greatest influence on ungulate selection of foraging areas were, distance to the ecotonal edge between steppe and forest communities, and elevation. Cattle preferred foraging areas comprised of Idaho fescue-annual grass plant communities located at medium distance from the forest edge and on moderate elevation. Elk preferred foraging areas comprised of bluebunch wheatgrass-annual grass and Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass near the forest edge at higher elevations. Mule deer preferred buckwheat-bluegrass scabland plant communities at medium distance from the forest edge at higher elevation. Probability of ungulates using similar foraging areas was highest for elk and cattle and least for elk and mule deer.
    • Viewpoint: Western juniper expansion: Is it a threat to arid northwestern ecosystems?

      Belsky, A. J. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Many ranchers, rangeland managers, and range scientists in the Pacific Northwest consider western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis Hook.) to be an invading weed that reduces water infiltration, dries up springs and streams, increases erosion, reduces biodiversity, and reduces the quality and quantity of forage for livestock and wildlife species. Although there is little scientific evidence supporting most of these beliefs, they are currently being used as rationales for controlling juniper on public and private lands. Similar views were held about pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Southwest and Great Basin from the 1940's through the 1960's, when efforts were also made to control woodland expansion. Pressures to control the further spread of western juniper and reduce its density in woodlands are increasing. Because of the paucity of information on the environmental effects of western juniper expansion in the Northwest, this paper primarily reviews evidence from earlier studies of pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Southwest and Great Basin. These studies rejected similar assumptions about the deleterious effects of pinyon-juniper expansion on ecosystem properties and call into question current rationales for controlling western juniper in the Northwest. These studies also suggest that while the expansion of juniper might alter species composition and decrease herbaceous biomass in grasslands and shrublands, they have few detrimental effects on streamflow, aquatic organisms, soil properties, or wildlife habitat.
    • Visitor perceptions about cattle grazing on National Forest land

      Mitchell, J. E.; Wallace, G. N.; Wells, M. D. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Visitors to the Big Cimarron Watershed in the Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado, had varying attitudes about cattle grazing. Without cuing, 9% of all visitors listed livestock as a source of interference. Local and rural Colorado residents tended to be more agreeable to livestock presence than other visitors in 1992; however, significant differences could not be detected the following year. No relationship existed between the prevalence of a perceived grazing-recreation conflict and visitors' home community size, nor the size of the community where they grew up. Visitors in dispersed campsites tended to be more critical of grazing than those in developed campgrounds. When given a choice, the number of visitors indicating that range livestock added to their stay (34%) was no different than the number stating a negative relationship (33%). Understanding visitor characteristics during range allotment planning may help lessen conflicts between livestock grazing and recreational usage by aiding in plan development and the design of effective interpretive programs.
    • Volatile oil contents of ashe and redberry juniper and its relationship to preference by Angora and Spanish goats

      Riddle, R. R.; Taylor, C. A.; Kothmann, M. M.; Huston, J. E. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Angora and Spanish goats (Capra bircus) were exposed to ashe (Juniperus ashei Buchholz) female, ashe male, redberry (Juniperus pinchotti Sudw.) female and redberry male branches in cafeteria style feeding trials. Preferences were consistent across seasons (except winter). Spanish goats generally consumed more juniper than Angoras. Both breeds preferred ashe over redberry juniper and female over male plants. Concentrations of volatile oils varied significantly between species of juniper and among seasons, but not between sexes. Concentrations of total oils were greater in the spring and summer than in the fall and winter. Concentrations of sabinine+beta-pinene were greater in redberry than ashe for all seasons. Concentrations of myrcene were significantly greater for redberry during the spring and summer. Significant correlation of oil concentration with grams of juniper consumed indicated that specific oils were influencing preference for juniper. Correlations were similar for Angora and Spanish goats, indicating no differences between goat breeds in sensitivity to oils.
    • Yield and quality of WW-Iron Master and caucasian bluestem regrowth

      White, L. M.; Dewald, C. L. (Society for Range Management, 1996-01-01)
      Old World bluestems (Bothriochloa spp.) have been seeded on over a million hectares of marginal farmland in Oklahoma and Texas, yet we know little about their regrowth yield and quality. The objective was to determine seasonal pattern of forage regrowth yield and quality of leaves and stems of WW-Iron Master (B. ischaemum [L.] Keng) and Caucasian (B. caucasica [Trin.] C.E. Hubb.) bluestem when 4-week regrowth was harvested at weekly intervals from early May through mid-September. Four plots of each bluestem were established in each of the 4 blocks (32 plots total). Harvesting was rotated so that 4-week regrowth of each bluestem was harvested weekly from 1 of the 4 plots in each block during 1988 and 1989 to determine regrowth yield, in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD), and crude protein (CP) of leaves and stems. Forage regrowth of both species peaked in June both years. Regrowth during August averaged 10 and 35% of June regrowth in 1988 and 1989. WW-Iron Master produced 80 and 45 % greater 4-week regrowth than Caucasian in 1988 and 1989. WW-Iron Master produced 75 and 28% greater leaf regrowth than Caucasian in 1988 and 1989 and twice as many stems both years. Leaf and stem IVDMD of WW-Iron Master averaged 2 to 6 percentage units higher than Caucasian. Leaf CP of WW-Iron Master averaged 2 percentage units higher than Caucasian during May and June. However, stem CP of WW-Iron Master averaged 1 percentage unit lower than Caucasian. Grazing management plans need to consider that the majority of bluestem forage production was restricted to a 1 month period in June. This technique of sampling 4-week regrowth every week during the growing season was an effective method for determining the seasonal regrowth pattern.