• Bison Weights From National Parks in the Northern Great Plains

      Licht, Daniel S. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Female bison at three Northern Great Plains parks reached maximum size at 5.5 years of age. Male bison reached maximum size around 10.5 years of age. • The mean weight for females 5.5 years old and older was 473 kg, and for males 10.5 years old and older was 816 kg. The mean weight for yearling females was 307 kg, and for yearling males was 325 kg. • There were significant differences in bison weights between the three parks even though the herds were all stocked well below the forage-based carrying capacity. • Heavier calves and yearlings tended to be heavier adults; however, there was much variability among individuals. • Accurate and unambiguous data on bison weights can be used to set stocking rates and make other management decisions and therefore should be collected whenever possible.
    • Browsing the Literature

      Mosley, Jeff (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
    • Determining Rangeland Species Palatability: Application of Principal Component Analysis

      Raufirad, Valiollah; Azadi, Hossein; Ebrahimi, Ataollah; Bagheri, Setareh (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Since plant palatability affects many aspects of sustainable rangeland management, including grazing capacity and grazing behavior, introducing indicators for determining rangeland species palatability can help rangeland managers determine rangeland species palatability accurately and precisely. • The Karsanak rangelands in the Chaharmahal-V-Bakhtiari province in Iran are dominated by a mixture of patchily distributed grasses, forbs, and shrubs, with a high biodiversity of plants, which severely affects rangeland species palatability. • The use of forage quality, secondary compounds, and external plant attributes are expected to help rangeland managers with plant palatability classification and in determining grazing capacity to achieve sustainable rangeland management.
    • Estimating Overnight Weight Loss of Corralled Yearling Steers in Semiarid Rangeland

      Derner, Justin D.; Reeves, Justin L.; Mortenson, Matthew C.; West, Mark; Irisarri, J. Gonzalo; Durante, Martin (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • A common practice for assessing livestock weight gains from grazing animals on rangelands is to confine animals overnight without feed or water to reduce variation in weight loss and percent shrink. • Advances in remote sensing of vegetation, such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) provide opportunities to estimate greenness (an indicator of both the quality and quantity of the plant community) that could be used with air temperature and relative humidity as predictors of percent shrink in grazing animals. • We determined percent shrink losses from crossbred yearling steers at each of four weigh dates for four consecutive years. • Percent overnight shrink by yearling steers grazing semiarid rangeland was influenced positively by air temperature and NDVI values, but not relative humidity. • The prediction equation we developed can provide temporal weight gain data within a grazing season without the logistical difficulties in gathering and holding animals, as well as eliminate associated animal stress from shrinking and regaining gut fill multiple times.
    • From Grassroots to National Alliance: The Emerging Trajectory for Landowner Prescribed Burn Associations

      Weir, John R.; Twidwell, Dirac; Wonkka, Carissa L. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Due to woody plant encroachment and seeing the need for fire on their lands, private landowners throughout the southern Great Plains have started forming prescribed burn associations (PBA) to assist each other with conducting prescribed fires. • Members of PBAs work together by pooling equipment and other resources, organizing training opportunities, and assisting with prescribed burns on each other’s properties, while teaching upcoming generations and inexperienced members the value of fire in grassland conservation and how to safely use it. • There are over 50 PBAs working in the southern Great Plains. As the number of PBAs has grown so has the need for bringing these groups together. Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas have formed statewide PBAs to assist and promote the local PBAs. • As PBAs have grown in number, there is now a clear opportunity to develop an organized network of PBAs at the local, state, and national levels that can address cross-scale ecological and jurisdictional challenges limiting their effectiveness.
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01
    • Marginality, Climate and Resources in Pastoral Rangelands: Oman and Mongolia

      Sternberg, Troy; Chatty, Dawn (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Oman and Mongolia feature different political systems and physical landscapes yet represent similar challenges encountered across global pastoral societies. • Extractive industries disrupt pastoral drylands through reorienting government policy, environmental change, altered water supply, and infrastructure factors that challenge livelihood viability. • The impact of climate variability on rangeland livelihoods is now exacerbated by policy and development decisions. • Herder livelihoods at different income and development levels are dependent on government policy and risk mitigation strategies to maintain customary practices. • The combination of multiple external forces stress rural viability and contribute to out-migration from herding systems.
    • Nonriparian Shade as a Water Quality Best Management Practice for Grazing-Lands: A Case Study

      Clary, Calvin Russell; Redmon, Larry; Gentry, Terry; Wagner, Kevin; Lyons, Robert (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Cattle within riparian zones can negatively impact water quality and riparian health, which are important environmental concerns for grazing lands. • Best management practices (BMPs) help mitigate agricultural pollution. Since BMPs are primarily voluntary, stakeholder acceptance is critical, and agricultural producers need BMPs that are relevant to their operation and will not negatively impact production. • Alternative shade has been suggested as a water quality BMP, with both environmental and agricultural benefits. After implementing the nonriparian shade structure, a 30% average reduction was observed in the time cattle spent within the riparian zone.
    • Tapping Soil Survey Information for Rapid Assessment of Sagebrush Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance

      Maestas, Jeremy D.; Campbell, Steven B.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Miller, Richard F. (Society for Range Management, 2016-12-01)
      On the Ground • Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. • Widely available soil survey information can be harnessed to spatially depict and evaluate relative resilience and resistance from regional to site scales. • New products and tools illustrate how managers can use soils data to inform rapid risk assessments, determine appropriate management strategies, and prioritize resources to maintain and restore functioning sagebrush ecosystems.