Welcome to the Rangelands archives. The archives provide public access, in a "rolling window" agreement with the Society for Range Management, to Rangelands (1979-present) from v.1 up to three years from the present year.

The most recent issues of Rangelands are available with membership in the Society for Range Management (SRM). Membership in SRM is a means to access current information and dialogue on rangeland management.

Your institution may also have access to current issues through library or institutional subscriptions.

ISSN: 0190-0528


Contact the University Libraries Journal Team with questions about these journals.

Recent Submissions

  • Advancing Knowledge for Proactive Drought Planning and Enhancing Adaptive Management for Drought on Rangelands: Introduction to a Special Issue

    Kelley, Windy K.; Scasta, John Derek; Derner, Justin D. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Drought adversely affects land managers, ranching enterprises, and pastoral systems. • As an ecological driver, drought historically shaped vegetation composition, structure, diversity, and productivity of rangelands leading to varying levels of resilience in these ecosystems. • Drought influences risk management in decision making by rangeland managers, resulting in a renewed emphasis on the importance of proactive drought planning and adaptive management for drought with monitoring-informed decision making.
  • Assessing Drought Vulnerability Using a Socioecological Framework

    Brown, Joel R.; Kluck, Doug; McNutt, Chad; Hayes, Michael (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Drought is a persistent problem on rangelands and adjusting management to respond appropriately is critical to both preserving natural resources and to maintaining financial viability. • We explore the value of using a structured assessment approach to determining both social and ecological vulnerability. • This approach allows for the identification of vulnerable ecosystems and business operations at regional and local scales as a basis for developing effective policies and programs.
  • Where Do Seasonal Climate Predictions Belong in the Drought Management Toolbox?

    Crimmins, Michael A.; McClaran, Mitchel P. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Seasonal climate predictions, based largely on the status of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, are one such tool but need to be used with prudence, understanding when and where they perform the best. • Advance planning and preparation for drought includes finding the right place for uncertain climate predictions in management decision making, as well as working to reduce overall exposure to drought risks.
  • New Tools for Assessing Drought Conditions for Rangeland Management

    Knutson, Cody; Fuchs, Brian (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Historical drought assessment and ongoing monitoring is essential for understanding past drought occurrence, the relationships between past drought and its impacts, and for triggering action during current drought events. • A variety of new products have recently been developed to better monitor drought conditions and assess past occurrences at the local scale. • A growing number of resources are available to assist rangeland managers to develop a monitoring system and incorporate it into a drought management plan.
  • Evaluating New SMAP Soil Moisture for Drought Monitoring in the Rangelands of the US High Plains

    Velpuri, Naga Manohar; Senay, Gabriel B.; Morisette, Jeffrey T. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Level 3 soil moisture datasets from the recently launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite are evaluated for drought monitoring in rangelands. • Validation of SMAP soil moisture (SSM) with in situ and modeled estimates showed high level of agreement. • SSM showed the highest correlation with surface soil moisture (0-5 cm) and a strong correlation to depths up to 20 cm. • SSM showed a reliable and expected response of capturing seasonal dynamics in relation to precipitation, land surface temperature, and evapotranspiration. • Further evaluation using multi-year SMAP datasets is necessary to quantify the full benefits and limitations for drought monitoring in rangelands.
  • Rangeland Responses to Predicted Increases in Drought Extremity

    Breshears, David D.; Knapp, Alan K.; Law, Darin J.; Smith, Melinda D.; Wonkka, Carissa L.; Twidwell, Dirac (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Rangeland managers actively focus on the potential to induce a shift in a site to an alternative state, but predicted changes in climate, particularly the likelihood of more extreme drought, necessitate reevaluating risks for alternative states. • Rangelands will differ in their susceptibility to undergo state changes due to climate change in general and for droughts of the future, in particular, which may be hotter. • Trees, shrubs, and grasses are expected to differ in their sensitivity to drought, with trees likely being most sensitive; this affects the likelihood for state changes in grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and savannas. • Considering these differences can help rangeland managers deal with the challenges of increasing drought that is forecast to occur with climate change.
  • Droughts and Wildfires in Western U.S. Rangelands

    Scasta, John Derek; Weir, John R.; Stambaugh, Michael C. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Because fire activity fluctuates with short- and long-term term weather and climate trends, understanding trends relative to climate forecasts is critical to mitigating the loss of life and property and rapid vegetation state changes. • Through the analysis of charcoal and trees scars, historical droughts and fire patterns can be quantified retrospectively for hundreds of years. This evidence suggests that generally fire was most frequent during warm-dry periods as opposed to cool-moist periods. However, arid regions may see an increase of fire activity with an increase of moisture due to inherent fuel load limitations. • Using federal wildfire and weather data from 2002 to 2015 for New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, we demonstrate that the worst wildfire activity occurred after average or above average precipitation years followed by drought in Oklahoma and Wyoming. Nevada wildfire activity was correlated with precipitation the preceding year, and New Mexico wildfire activity was not correlated with annual precipitation or preceding year precipitation. • The effects of future drought on fire intensity and severity are projected to be highly variable because they are both a function of fuel load. However, the potential for very large wildfires is predicted to increase; fire weather is expected to create hotter and drier conditions that start earlier and last longer; and the relative changes may be most noticeable in cooler regions that are of higher latitude and elevation.
  • Drought Mitigation for Grazing Operations: Matching the Animal to the Environment

    Scasta, John Derek; Lalman, David L.; Henderson, Leticia (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • With expected increases in drought frequency and severity, long-term drought management strategies that focus on cattle selection and natural resource management are essential. • The livestock industry in general unintentionally tends to select for cattle that do not perform to their maximum potential in limited-resource environments. We discuss the implications of cattle selection based on characteristics such as genetic potential, cow size, and hide color. • In a hypothetical model, we found that because forage requirements for smaller cows are lower than forage requirements for larger cows, using a herd of smaller cows produces a larger total calf crop if cow size and milk do not lead to greater calf production. • Because grazed forage remains the least expensive source of nutrients to maintain the cow herd, matching cow size and milk production potential to forage resources to optimize forage utilization and reproductive efficiency should be considered a rangeland drought mitigation strategy. • Contemporary strategies such as using EPDs and selection indexes to manage maternal traits such as mature weight and maintenance energy requirements can be integrated with conventional drought mitigation strategies that focus on resource quality management.
  • Adaptive Management for Drought on Rangelands

    Derner, Justin D.; Augustine, David J. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Adaptive management can be used to manage complexity, such as how to match forage production variability across years and within portions of a grazing season with animal demand through management flexibility. • Adaptive management strategies should incorporate flexibility and feedback mechanisms informed by appropriate seasonal weather variables and monitoring metrics to both increase resiliency of rangeland ecosystems and reduce risk for the ranching enterprise associated with drought. • For management flexibility, we provide four general strategies that ranchers can use to deal with drought: 1) predict it using weather and climate forecasting tools, 2) track it, 3) employ conservative stocking rates, and 4) utilize inherent spatial variability. • Adaptive grazing management plans that seek to integrate drought prediction tools, conservative but flexible stocking, and existing and predicted spatial heterogeneity in forage quantity and quality can be incorporated into conservation practices where spatial heterogeneity in forage resources within and among allotments/pastures is often not explicitly monitored or considered when planning livestock movements.
  • “In Every Rancher’s Mind”: Effects of Drought on Ranch Planning and Practice

    Wilmer, Hailey; York, Elisabeth; Kelley, Windy K.; Brunson, Mark W. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Ranchers’ responses to drought differ depending on where they live and specific circumstances of their ranches, but there are striking similarities across regions. • Changes in practice after a drought reflect a general desire to buffer one’s operation against disruptions, rather than being specifically aimed at the next drought. • Interviewees often pointed to good things that arose from the bad situation of drought. • Energy development helped offset drought impacts in two cases, but interviewees generally preferred to diversify their income streams through agricultural rather than non-agricultural enterprises. • Ability to respond to drought is somewhat constrained by federal tax laws and agency grazing regulations, as well as by ranchers’ specific circumstances.
  • Coping With Drought on California Rangelands

    Macon, Daniel K.; Barry, Sheila; Becchetti, Theresa; Davy, Josh S.; Doran, Morgan P.; Finzel, Julie A.; George, Holly; Harper, John M.; Huntsinger, Lynn; Ingram, Roger S.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    On the Ground • Rangeland livestock producers were among the first agricultural communities affected by California’s multiyear drought. • Rancher surveys and in-person interviews have identified key strategies for coping with and adapting to drought. • Increasing flexibility, resource valuation, and information sharing are important components of building adaptive capacity. • Web-based communication systems have provided new tools for peer-to-peer learning, public education, and extending knowledge to larger audiences. • Insights from managers experiences are important for adaptation planning to enhance resilience of rangeland social-ecological systems to climate stresses.
  • Highlights

    Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01