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 two 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.

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ISSN: 0190-0528


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  • Forbs and Greater Sage-grouse Habitat Restoration Efforts: Suggestions for Improving Commercial Seed Availability and Restoration Practices

    Curran, Michael F.; Crow, Taylor M.; Hufford, Kristina M.; Stahl, Peter D. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground: • Greater sage-grouse are the species of concern in the largest conservation effort in US history and have populations spanning 11 western states. Restoration of sage-grouse habitat will assist these conservation efforts. • It is known that forbs are critical to sage-grouse diets, but only isolated studies have measured forbs in the diet at a species or genera-specific level and little is known about sage-grouse preference to forbs. • Research has shown that local seed sources promote successful reestablishment of vegetation communities, although commercial seed sources for forb species used in sage-grouse diet often are lacking. • We make suggestions for selecting forb species and improving seed sources for sage-grouse conservation.
  • View Point: Renewable Energy, Energy Conservation, and US Rangelands

    Holechek, Jerry L.; Sawalhah, Mohammed N.; Cibils, Andrés F. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Depletion of conventional oil and natural gas reserves, rising world demand for fossil fuels, and changing geo-political conditions necessitate that the United States aggressively develop both renewable and nonrenewable energy along with increasing energy conservation and efficiency. This will affect how rangelands are used, create income opportunities for ranchers, and expand employment opportunities for professional range managers. • Air and ground water contamination and increased earthquakes could be serious environmental challenges from expanded development of unconventional fossil fuels. Renewable energy development involving wind, solar, and biomass also have environmental hazards. Rangeland managers in the future must be prepared to minimize and ameliorate environmental damage from different types of energy developments while optimizing energy production with traditional rangeland uses. • In our view, government policies encouraging energy conservation could significantly reduce rangeland losses to urban and ex-urbanization, dependence on foreign oil imports and carbon emissions. They would also extend the longevity of fossil fuel reserves providing a hedge against possible failure of renewable energy sources to meet future needs.
  • View Point: Impacts of Kentucky bluegrass Invasion (Poa pratensis L.) on Ecological Processes in the Northern Great Plains

    Printz, Jeffrey L.; Hendrickson, John R. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong—H. L. Mencken • Ecological impacts of Kentucky bluegrass invasion have gone unrecognized by land managers and researchers alike. • Current management practices have contributed to increases in Kentucky bluegrass abundance. • Invaded areas have altered the ecological processes of net primary productivity, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and species composition. • Increased understanding of ecological processes and feedback mechanisms of invaded areas will allow managers to develop appropriate adaptive management strategies.
  • Land Lines

    Salo, Cindy (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
  • Essays From a Foothill Agrarian

    Macon, Dan (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
  • Land Ecology Essay I: The Siren Song of the Finish Line

    Brown, Joel; Smith, David (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
  • Land Ecology Essay II: Thresholds, Novel Ecosystems, and the Sanctity of History

    Bestelmeyer, Brandon T. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
  • Browsing the Literature

    Mosley, Jeff (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
  • Highlights

    Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01
  • Drought Consequences for Cow-Calf Production in Wyoming: 2011—2014

    Scasta, John D.; Windh, Jessica L.; Smith, Travis; Baumgartner, Bob (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Drought reduces forage quantity and carrying capacity, but reductions in cow-calf performance measured by calf average daily gain (ADG) and weaning weight (WW) are less understood. • From 2011 to 2014, a period with very dry and very wet years, we assessed an adjusted 210 day WW and ADG for a total of 869 calves on two University of Wyoming ranches. • We found WW was up to 99 pounds (lb) lower, and ADG was up to 0.47 lb lower between the driest and wettest years. • For each one inch reduction in precipitation, WW are predicted to be 7 lb to 14 lb lower, ADG is expected to be 0.03 lb to 0.07 lb lower, and dollar per head values 12 to 27 lower, depending on calf sex and ranch location. • If drought occurs, or continues to escalate in frequency and severity, WW reductions, ADG reductions, and value per head reductions should be expected and documented for strategic planning and/or compensation programs.
  • Seasonal Availability of Cool and Warm-Season Herbage in the Northern Mixed Prairie

    Bork, Edward W.; Irving, Barry D. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Variability in spatial and temporal patterns of herbage production is common in grasslands and can affect land uses, such as grazing. • Total herbage biomass in northern mixed grass prairie was similar on loamy and sand dune ecologic sites but varied in composition. • Cool-season grasses were uniformly produced throughout the grazing season, whereas warm-season grasses grew rapidly during August. • Litter conservation was important for increasing cool-season grass biomass, whereas warm-season grasses remained independent of litter. • Biomass and composition of herbage in the northern mixed grass varies spatially and intra-annually, affecting seasonal grazing opportunities for livestock.
  • Temperament Does Not Affect Steer Weight Gains on Extensively Managed Semiarid Rangeland

    Reeves, Justin L.; Derner, Justin D. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Cattle with poor temperaments gain less weight in feedlots. However, how yearling steer temperament affects weight gain on rangelands is a knowledge gap for ranchers. • Flight speed, the speed at which cattle exit a chute after weighing, has been used to measure temperament in past feedlot studies (faster speed = poor temperament). We used flight speed scores in this study to measure yearling steer temperament at the beginning (mid-May) and end (early-October) of grazing seasons for 3 years: 2011–2013. • We hypothesized that steer weight gains on extensively managed semiarid rangeland with low stocking densities (~0.11–0.15 steers/ha) would not be influenced by temperament due to the muh lower animal densities and fewer handling events than experienced in feedlots. • No meaningful relationships were found between season-beginning or season-ending flight speed score and steer average daily gain, and flight speed scores were often lower at the end of the season. • Results suggest that ranchers operating stocker enterprises with extensive management and low stocking densities on rangelands can potentially be less selective for temperament when assembling herds.
  • Using Science to Bridge Management and Policy: Terracette Hydrologic Function and Water Quality Best Management Practices in Idaho

    Corrao, Mark V.; Cosens, Barbara E.; Heinse, Robert; Eitel, Jan U. H.; Link, Timothy E. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On The Ground • Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is a leading cause of water quality degradation on 40% of the semiarid lands within the western United States, with sediment from runoff on agricultural lands making up 15%. • Managing NPS pollution through best management practices (BMPs) relies on site-specific knowledge and voluntary application. • The dominant hydrologic processes in semiarid environments are a product of local climate, vegetation, and soil conditions; therefore, land use and ecosystem resilience invariably hinge on a balance of shifting, and often competing, social and environmental drivers. • Our measurements of terracette hydrologic function and existence on more than 159,000 hectares within Idaho enabled an estimate of potential NPS erosion and sediment generation, emphasizing the value of site-specific scientific research for land managers. • Our study provides an example of how microtopographic landforms, such as terracettes, are connected with state and federal clean water policy as one example of how interdisciplinary research can have far-reaching application.
  • View Point: The Greater Sage-Grouse Story: Do We Have It Right?

    Cronin, Matthew A. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Greater sage-grouse were found to be threatened or endangered with extinction in a preliminary assessment in 2010, with a final decision on an Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing due in 2015. • ESA criteria regarding endangered status (in danger of extinction), threatened status (likely to become in danger of extinction), the foreseeable future (in which a species will become in danger of extinction), and a significant portion of a species range (without which a species will be in danger of extinction) are not definitive, rely on predictions, and are all concerned with species extinction, not simply population declines. • The 2010 ESA determination for sage-grouse relies on observations of declining populations, predictions from models with uncertain assumptions, incomplete population data, and anticipated habitat changes. Prediction of species extinction from this information can be considered speculation, and insufficient for an ESA listing. • Wildlife management without the encumbrances ofthe ESA and its associated litigation and regulation can be used to maintain and enhance species that are not in immediate danger of extinction, such as sage-grouse.
  • Browsing the Literature

    Mosley, Jeff (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
  • Highlights

    Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01
  • Evaluation of the Seasonal and Annual Abortifacient Risk of Western Juniper Trees on Oregon Rangelands

    Welch, Kevin D.; Parsons, Cory; Gardner, Dale R.; Deboodt, Tim; Schreder, Peter; Cook, Daniel; Pfister, James A.; Panter, Kip E. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Western juniper trees can cause late term abortions in cattle, similar to ponderosa pine trees. • Results from this study demonstrate that there is no difference in the labdane acid (the abortifacien tcompounds) content of western juniper trees throughout the year, or from year to year. • Consequently the abortifacient risk of western juniper trees should not vary throughout the year, or from year to year. • Producers who winter cattle in rangelands with western juniper trees should take similar precautions to prevent late term abortions as they would with ponderosa pine trees.
  • Jaguar Critical Habitat Designation Causes Concern for Southwestern Ranchers

    Svancara, Colleen M.; Lien, Aaron M.; Vanasco, Wendy T.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Bonar, Scott A.; Ruyle, George B. (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • The designation of jaguar critical habitat in April 2014 in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico created concern for livestock ranchers in the region. • We interviewed ranchers to understand their concerns with the jaguar critical habitat designation and their attitudes toward jaguars, wildlife conservation, and resource management in general. • Ranchers we interviewed were concerned about direct impacts of designated critical habitat on ranching, as well as possible alternative agendas of critical habitat advocates and issues specific to the borderlands region. • The ranchers were less concerned about the presence of jaguars but were more concerned about possible limiting effects of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), distrust of government entities, and litigious environmental groups. • To maximize effectiveness, government agencies should work to foster trust in the ranching community, be cognizant of sensitive issues specific to the region that may challenge endangered species conservation goals, recognize the opportunity to work with ranchers for endangered species management, and provide outreach about implications of the ESA.
  • The Effects of Federal Policies on Rangeland Ecosystem Services in the Southwestern United States

    Lien, Aaron M.; Neeley, Jenny L.; Ruyle, George B.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
    On the Ground • Rangelands provide a wide array of ecosystem services – the direct benefits people receive from nature. There is increasing interest by policymakers and conservationists in managing for these ecosystem services. • Because of complex land tenure arrangements inthe Intermountain West, it is important to understand the impacts of federal resource management laws on ecosystem services flowing from public and private lands. • All major federal land management laws are supportive of managing for ecosystem services. We review the implications of FLPMA, NFMA, NEPA, ESA, and CWA on ecosystem services on public and private lands.

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