• USDA-ARS Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory: History and Current Research on Western North American Rangelands

      Pfister, James A.; Cook, Daniel; Panter, Kip E.; Welch, Kevin D.; James, Lynn F. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Poisonous plants on western North American rangelands have historically been troublesome to livestock producers. • Research on toxic plants was initiated by the United States Department of Agriculture in the late 1890s to solve problems for the livestock industry. • TheUnited States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Resource Service Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah continues to provide research-based solutions to poisonous plant problems besetting livestock producers, hobby farmers and small holders, veterinarians, and extension personnel. • Principal plants of current research interest include larkspur, lupine, locoweed, selenium accumulating plants, pyrrolizidine alkaloid-containing plants, and ponderosa pine.
    • View Point: Commercial Wildland Harvested Seed and the Utah Connection

      Stevenson, Ronald M. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • The need for large-scale disturbed land rehabilitation in the west is well known but is recently receiving new attention. • Seeding appropriate species, varieties, and ecotypes is often needed to succeed in rehabilitation of these degraded landscapes. • Key people, organizations, and early and continuing research in Utah have been very influential in providing valuable information for degraded land rehabilitation. • Seed from the key species and ecotypes provided by wildland seed harvests are a very important part of successful land restoration. The wildland seed industry developed in Utah and dominates the supply of wildland seed in western land restoration.
    • View Point: Critical Evaluations of Vegetation Cover Measurement Techniques: A Response to Thacker et al. (2015)

      Karl, Jason W.; Karl, Michael G.; McCord, Sarah E.; Kachergis, Emily (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Method comparison studies are necessary to reconcile monitoring methods that have arisen among disparate programs; however, we find that Thacker et al.s study comparing Daubenmire frame (DF) and line-point intercept (LPI) methods for estimating vegetation cover is not adequate to support their conclusions. • Because the DF and LPI methods estimate different aspects of vegetation cover (total canopy vs. foliar cover), there should be no a priori expectation that the two techniques would produce the same results. • Thacker et al. omit critical information about their methods (sampling design, training and calibration, indicator calculations) that could have a large impact on their results and how they can be interpreted. • Differences in results between different vegetation cover measurement techniques can also be attributable to factors like observer training and calibration, plot heterogeneity and complexity, spatial distribution of vegetation, plant morphology, and plot size; thus it is difficult to draw strong conclusions froma single study. • Rather than implementing both DF and LPI techniques in sage-grouse studies as Thacker et al. recommend, effort should instead be invested in ensuring that sampling for one selected method is adequate. • Critical evaluations of vegetation measurement methods to advance the science of rangeland monitoring should be conducted and reported in a rigorous manner, provide a thorough review of previous studies, and discuss how new results contribute to existing knowledge.
    • View Point: FLPMA Turns Forty: Providing Bureau of Land Management with Long-Term Vision

      Ross, Joseph V.H. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages public lands to sustain their health, diversity, and productivity for the benefit of present and future generations. The task is complicated, and there are issues that need to be addressed. • Public demands and expectations continue to increase, and the agency must pursue logical, transparent, scientific and sustainable resource decisions. • I encourage the BLM to be more open, creative, and collaborate with diverse publics. As we see frustration grow with multiple-use management, the BLM needs to do a better job of balancing the needs and wishes of the American public.