• Special Issue Acknowledgments

      Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01
    • A Collaborative Program to Provide Native Plant Materials for the Great Basin

      Shaw, Nancy; Pellant, Mike; Fisk, Matthew; Denney, Erin (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      The Great Basin as defined on a floristic basis includes the hydrographic Great Basin plus the Owyhee Uplands and Snake River Plain of southern Idaho (Fig. 1). The region encompasses about 60 million ha, of which more than two-thirds are publicly owned. Vegetation ranges from salt desert and sagebrush shrublands in the basins to conifer forests in the more than 200 mountain ranges. Historic land management opened the environment to invasion by exotic annual grasses, primarily cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Resulting changes in fire regimes and more recent human disturbances such as energy development, mining, and recreation have combined to increase the spread of annual and perennial exotics, deplete native seed banks, simplify community structure and species associations, and reduce landscape patchiness. Ecosystem resilience declines with disruption of ecological functions such as snow or water catchment, reduction of wind velocity, and nutrient cycling. West and Young described in detail the plant communities and management issues in the Great Basin and suggested that development of more effective and economical revegetation techniques should be a research priority, especially for the more arid regions. 
    • Government Success in Partnerships: The USDA-ARS Areawide Ecologically Based Invasive Annual Grass Management Program

      Smith, Brenda; Sheley, Roger L. (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      Long-term research about complicated pest management issues creates incremental knowledge that systematically solves problems. But once knowledge is well-enough advanced to dramatically improve the success of pest management, it is of little value unless that knowledge and technology are transferred to the intended users. Furthermore, the implementation of such technologies on a field-by-field level will have little impact on pest issues that cross regions, states, and sometimes countries. Since the mid-1990s, the US Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDAARS) has funded an Areawide Pest Management program to address both of these issues. 
    • An Interdisciplinary Approach for Watershed-Scale Assessment and Management

      Martin, Ryan; Fosse, Pat; Thrift, Brian (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Dillon Field Office (DFO) manages more than 900,000 surface acres of public land in scenic, southwestern Montana. These lands vary from the snow-covered Lima Peaks, near the Idaho border, to the sagebrush-covered, rolling foothills near the first Territorial capital of Bannack, Montana, to the grass-covered lowlands in the Madison Valley. Miles of high-mountain streams—inhabited by native, westslope cutthroat trout— flow down to the sagebrush-dominated grasslands that pygmy rabbits and sage-grouse call home. The sheer beauty and diversity of life within the DFO make managing these public lands for multiple use a privilege and constant challenge. 
    • Agency Accomplishments: Making a Difference on the Ground

      Coates-Markle, Linda (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      Government land management agencies are not often provided adequate opportunities to market their successes because workloads and priorities often restrict time and budgets. At the request of an enlightened agency field employee—Ryan Martin, Rangeland Management Specialist, Dillon Field Office, Bureau of Land Management (BLM)—the BLM Liaison to the SRM organized a special session in concert with the 2011 SRM Annual Meeting and Trade Show to do just that. The session promoted opportunities for the agencies to demonstrate the often unique and well-fought efforts to accomplish laudable partner-based goals. The goal was to provide presentations that reflected the successes of agency partnerships with researchers and ranchers, nongovernmental organizations, and others. The presenters were encouraged to focus on projects that were ecoregional in nature and that demonstrated the variety of avenues to success. Presenters were asked to address the primary problem (the concern), discuss the collaborative process that brought the partners together, and highlight current accomplishments. The long-term intent of the session was to foster improved communication with the goal of developing more opportunities for successful partnerships and enhance management of the nation’s natural resources. 
    • Innovative Partnership Formed to Restore the West Potrillos

      Lister, Ray; Smith, Phil; Torrez, Steven; Baker, Stephen (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      In December 2010, a diverse group of partners that included sportsmen, ranchers, biologists, conservationists, and land managers met on the barren foothills of the West Potrillo Mountains southwest of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to celebrate the beginning of a large-scale land restoration project that was years in the making. Like many landscapes in southern New Mexico, the West Potrillos were once healthy grasslands but had suffered terribly from the encroachment of brush species such as creosotebush and mesquite. This collaborative partnership effort to improve the health of the West Potrillos highlights the success possible when partners, even those with significantly different ideas and objectives, work together to find common ground and develop strategies to realize a shared vision. 
    • Estimating Effects of Targeted Conservation on Nonfederal Rangelands

      Weltz, Mark; Spaeth, Ken (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      Estimating the effects of conservation practices on rangelands is extremely challenging, compared with cropland, because rangelands consist of a mosaic of plant species with highly diverse landscapes of mixed land ownership and management objectives. The checkerboard pattern of land ownership on rangelands in the West, a legacy of 19th century government homestead and railway construction policies, makes conducting assessments and estimating effects of conservation at landscape or watershed scale a challenging endeavor. This is complicated by the interaction of climate, topography, plants, soil parent material, and land management that interact to yield a mosaic of plant communities over time. Rangeland communities are further influenced by episodic disturbances, such as insect outbreaks, fire, drought, and flood. The most-developed quantitative indicators of conservation effects currently on rangelands are 1) modeled soil erosion, and 2) the number and types of invasive plant species. These indicators can be used to infer impacts on water availability and quality, wildlife habitat quality or suitability for target wildlife species, forage availability for domestic livestock and/or wildlife, and vulnerability to wildfire, which will directly influence sustainability of the plant community. 
    • Forty-Five Years of Public–Private Partnership in the Rawlins Field Of Ice

      Warren, Andy; Jones, Amanda (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      Public–Private Partnerships are an integral part of successful public land management. The Sulphur Springs allotment, which is administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field Office, Rawlins, Wyoming, USA, contains a largely checkerboard land-ownership pattern that is 56% public. The significance of this allotment is its location at the confluence of the perennial headwaters of Muddy Creek. Other than the southeast corner and western edge, most of the stream miles are on private land. Within the Rawlins Field Office boundary, only 10% of all riparian habitats are located on public land. It is essential that BLM work with partners to manage riparian habitat on a landscape scale. Sulphur Springs allotment is one example of this approach. 
    • Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge: A Partnership from the Beginning

      Hayek, Mark (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      The first time I visited the recently established Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge (GRNWR), it became apparent to me that this was no ordinary conservation project. Upon glancing across the acres of restored tallgrass prairie and wetland basins, one begins to realize that a single organization could not have tackled this project alone. It is astounding to think over 30 partnering organizations were involved in the Glacial Ridge Project. Getting just two organizations pulling in one direction can be difficult at times and working with partners isn’t always easy, or successful, but the Glacial Ridge Project can provide all of us with insight on how to make partnerships work. 
    • The Interagency Creeks and Communities Strategy: Creating Healthy Streams and Wetlands by Bringing People Together

      Van Riper, Laura (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      Riparian-wetland areas in the western United States provide a variety of ecological, economic, and social benefits, even though they comprise a relatively small percentage of the total land base. Today, successful management of these areas depends on bringing diverse groups of people together and building the capacity needed to confront and manage complex and contentious issues. The federal-level, interagency Creeks and Communities (CC) Strategy is designed to integrate the biophysical and social dimensions of riparian-wetland management to achieve results that benefit both creeks and the communities that depend on them. The strategy is a partnership of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Forest Service (FS), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to build understanding, ownership, and commitment in those individuals who must ultimately implement management decisions by incorporating scientific and technical information into collaborative decision-making processes. Many other agencies, nongovernmental organizations, committed public employees, and private citizens participate in, support, and contribute to the strategy. 
    • Texas GLCI: Growing Partnerships on Texas Grazing Lands

      Goodwin, Jeff; Moseley, Mark (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      The United States comprises more than 634 million acres of nonfederal grazing lands. Under proper management, these private grazing lands contribute to the health and economic sustainability that the nation has relied on for many years. Private grazing land owners understand the need for continued grazing land technical assistance. Providing a mechanism to attain sound, science-based, proven conservation alternatives to address the nation’s grazing land resource concerns is of paramount importance to these land owners. The loss of trained individuals providing technical assistance would be detrimental not only to new grazing land managers but also to established operations that have been using this technical assistance for years to make difficult ranch management decisions. This loss of trained individuals did occur in the past: the loss of USDA– Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) technical resources on grazing lands was a by-product of the 1985 Farm Bill, which diverted many NRCS employees to cropland conservation compliance and other programs. The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) was formed in response to this decline in technical assistance on private grazing lands. 
    • Research to Practical Use: On-the-Ground Successes

      Clements, Charlie D.; Young, James A.; Harmon, Daniel N.; Weltz, Mark (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      The US Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit services a large area that runs from south-central Nevada to the Oregon border and from northeastern California to the Utah border. This vast array of landscapes has a variety of stakeholders who request assistance in addressing range, wildlife, and sustainable agriculture issues. At the 64th Annual Society for Range Management Meetings held in Billings, Montana, in February 2011 we were invited to present at a special symposium “Agency Accomplishments—Making a Difference on the Ground.” Here we present three case studies of our efforts to 1) research the problem at hand, 2) deliver practical on-the-ground practices to minimize or eliminate the problem, and 3) improve sustainable agricultural practices. 
    • Listening to the Land: Community, Science, Ethics, and Professional Land Stewards

      Box, Thad (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)
      Debate rages about the role of government. Some things are best done by individuals. Other essential actions, beneficial to the community, can best be done by people acting together. Land use involves complex interactions between private owners seeking rewards from their property and public agencies charged with maintaining the health and viability of our social and economic systems. The history of rangeland management helps us understand the role of private individuals and the public acting through government. It also suggests a need for strong professional evaluation of facts, data, and actions. 
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01
    • Browsing the Literature

      Mosley, Jeff (Society for Range Management, 2012-08-01)