• Twenty Years After the Dude Fire: Targeted Cattle Grazing of Weeping Lovegrass Through the Use of Protein Supplementation

      Bernau, Christopher R.; Sprinkle, Jim; Tanner, Ray (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
      On the Ground • The 1990 Dude Fire on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona and the following restoration resulted in an invasion of weeping lovegrass. • Ecosystem restoration required successful collaboration between federal, state, and private individuals. • We used protein supplementation to redistribute grazing pressure on the rangeland and to increase use of nutrient-poor old-growth weeping lovegrass forage. • We observed that cattle hoof action worked in concert with targeted grazing to achieve the desired effect on weeping lovegrass. After 2 years of targeted grazing, we saw a short-term reduction in weeping lovegrass and increased competitive opportunities for native vegetation.
    • A Systems Thinking Approach to Ranching: Finding Leverage to Mitigate Drought

      Rhoades, Ryan D.; McCuistion, Kimberly C.; Mathis, Clay P. (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
      On the Ground • Drought is an adaptive challenge where management strategies and practices that work today might not work tomorrow. Adaptive challenges facing management may require thinking systemically to determine leverage points. • Systems thinking can be an effective way to see the big picture, deal with complex situations, and create effective long-term management alternatives for the ranch. • Successful management alternatives will provide flexibility to protect the core business (i.e., cow herd), be enterprise-diverse to spread risk, and allow management for the good of the whole, not simplyto maximize the pieces. • It is important to evaluate your own ranching system to identify the appropriate enterprises or practices, there is no best mix.
    • Indicators of Browsing Pressure Suggest Constraints on Riparian Willows: A Case Study From the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming

      Bower, Michael R.; Decker, Luke A.; Nowakowski, Amy L.; William, Chris L. (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
      On the Ground • We completed a landscape-scale assessment of ungulate browsing pressure on the southeastern portion of the Bighorn National Forest and found evidence of constraints on willow morphology and height. • To better understand these apparent constraints over time and to enable adaptive habitat management, we propose development of a willow monitoring scheme based on an experimental design that controls for site potential and isolates the contributions of individual ungulate species to total willow browse. • Further investigating the current status of riparian willows in terms of population vital rates and future distribution trends could be particularly important to help determine the cause of a recent decline in beaver abundance.
    • Calculating Foraging Area Using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Technology

      Anderson, Dean M. (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
      On the Ground • Optimum forage utilization on animal-dominated landscapes can only occur when stocking rate (SR) and stocking density (SD) are considered and managed simultaneously. • Landscapes with foraging animals contain vegetation ranging from unused to over-used even under a proper SR. • The global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technology has catapulted our understanding of spatial–temporal management of free-ranging livestock into a 24/7 opportunity. • Location-specific data will improve management of stocked landscapes, both ecologically and economically. • GNSS data from instrumented animals provides an opportunity to understand when and where a landscape is used to improve animal distribution. • A proper SR and management of animal distribution (i.e., SD) will facilitate adaptive management of animal dominated landscapes.
    • View Point: Energy and Rangelands: A Perspective

      Holechek, Jerry L.; Sawalhah, Mohammad N. (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
      On the Ground • Depletion of conventional oil and natural gas reserves coupled to rising world demand for fossil fuels will have major impacts on US rangelands and ranches over the next 30 years. • Shale oil and gas are unconventional fossil fuels now being aggressively developed on US rangelands. Their development involves a larger physical footprint in terms of roads, drill pads, mining pits, and water disposal ponds than conventional oil and gas development, but their development techniques are improving in terms of extraction efficiency and reduction of adverse environmental impacts. Groundwater contamination is the biggest potential threat to ranchers from shale oil and gas development. • US ranchers will likely experience continued rising prices for their livestock due to world farmland loss, increased human population, and rising affluency in Asian countries, but their production costs will also rise due to higher energy costs. Implementing management practices involving risk aversion and minimization of fossil fuel use will be important for their future success. • Basic principles of range management such as control of grazing intensity, grazing timing, animal distribution, and mix of animal species can be modified for management of energy developments on rangelands.
    • Listening to the Land: Learning at Unexpected Times in Unlikely Places

      Box, Thad (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
    • Browsing the Literature

      Mosley, Jeff (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01
    • Wyoming’s Aging Agricultural Landscape: Demographic Trends Among Farm and Ranch Operators, 1920–2007

      Glick, Henry B.; Bettigole, Charles (Society for Range Management, 2014-12-01)
      On the Ground • Across the United States, farmers and ranchers are getting older, and fewer young operators are entering the agricultural workforce than in the past. • We statistically and cartographically explored demographic trends among farm and ranch operators in Wyoming to see if and how the agricultural community was aging. • Census records indicate that Wyoming’s agricultural community is in fact aging, and that the relative proportions of younger operators are dwindling rapidly. • With a changing local agricultural community, we face risks associated with loss of local knowledge, loss of tradition, and loss of investment that stem from a deep-rooted sense of place. • We face a fundamental challenge in inspiring young agriculturalists to take up residence in the state to help replace those of retirement age. • This might be accomplished through shifts in education, public policy, economic incentives, or through targeted cultivation of personal connections to the land.