• Social facilitation influences cattle to graze locoweed

      Ralphs, M. H.; Graham, D.; James, L. F. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Many ranchers claim that if a cow starts eating locoweed, she will teach others to eat it. Three grazing trials were conducted to evaluate the role of social facilitation in starting cattle to graze locoweed. The first trial was conducted near Gladstone, N.M., using mature cows grazing woolly locoweed (Astragalus mollissimus var. mollissimus Torr). The second trial was conducted on the Raft River Mountains in northwestern Utah, using yearling cattle grazing white locoweed (Oxytropis sericea Nutt). The third trial was conducted to determine if aversion-conditioned yearling cattle would consume white locoweed when placed with cattle that were eating locoweed (loco-eaters). Cattle conditioned to eat locoweed and naive animals in trials 1 and 2 first grazed in separate pastures to evaluate their initial acceptance of locoweed. The groups in the respective trials then were placed together to evaluate the influence of social facilitation on locoweed consumption. Locoweed consumption was quantified by bite count. Naive cattle in trials 1 and 2 sampled small quantities of locoweed while grazing separately. However, they greatly increased locoweed consumption when placed with the loco-eaters. Aversion-conditioned cattle in trial 3 did not consume locoweed while grazing separately. When placed with loco-eaters, they gradually increased consumption of white locoweed, in contrast to the immediate acceptance of locoweed by naive cattle in trials 1 and 2. The aversion extinguished and averted animals eventually accepted white locoweed at levels comparable to loco-eaters. Results of this study demonstrate that social facilitation can cause cattle to start eating locoweed.
    • State of the Society: Advancing the Profession

      Donart, Gary B. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
    • The effect of Quercus douglasii removal on understory yield and composition

      Bartolome, J. W.; Allen-Diaz, B. H.; Tietje, W. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      The canopy of Quercus douglasii H. & A. (blue oak) has been variously reported to enhance or suppress understory production. The effects of canopy removal have been reported only for the northern portion of blue oak's range. We removed all blue oaks from 6 plots in the central coast of California and found no significant change in understory biomass over 3 years. Understory herb cover averaged 32.6% on cleared plots, compared to 24.3% on uncut plots, but composition changed little with the exception of an increase in Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. Clearing did not produce the distinctive species composition and forage enhancement under Q. douglasii canopy reported in other studies, an based on comparisons between unmanipulated canopy and adjacent grassland. Our results suggest that the canopy effect could instead be caused by differences in sites occupied by trees. Clearing of Q. douglasii in regions with 50 cm or less of mean annual precipitation is not recommended for increasing forage production.
    • Viewpoint: Integrating CRM (Coordinated Resource Management) and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) processes

      Swanson, S. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Coordinated Resource Management (CRM) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) each provide an approach for involving the public and resource specialists from many disciplines in public land management decisions. This viewpoint suggests combining the consensus building approach of CRM into the broader public involvement and sometimes more thorough analysis of a NEPA process. The combined process seems most applicable when a diversity of interests want potentially incompatible decisions, especially if those decisions could significantly affect the structure and function of ecosystems or natural-resource-based economies. Fourteen steps in a combined process describe the mechanics and rationale for this integration. To succeed with this process, begin with thorough preparation, then foster open and repeated 2-way communication. Communication with the broader public ensures that all affected interests may contribute ideas. Consensus building with representatives of all resource interests and land ownerships ensures public trust and broadly supported management. Consensus building continues through decision making, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and replanning.
    • Viewpoint: The logic of using tracks and signs in predation incidents where bears are suspected

      Mysterud, I. (Society for Range Management, 1994-03-01)
      Based on recent circumstances in connection with compensation of livestock killed by large, protected carnivores in Norway, this paper discusses what type of logic should be used to establish which animal is the perpetrator. We suggest that the use of a "modus tollens" logic based upon tracks and signs which are not found at the site is invalid for management purposes. Instead, we suggest "modus ponens" logic based upon what is actually found by a carcass.