An Evaluation of Arizona Cooperative Extension’s Rangeland Monitoring Program
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CitationFernandez-Gimenez, M. E., Ruyle, G., & McClaran, S. J. (2005). An evaluation of Arizona Cooperative Extension’s rangeland monitoring program. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 58(1), 89-98.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractWe evaluated Arizona Cooperative Extension’s Rangeland Monitoring Program with the use of focus groups and a self- administered mail survey of grazing permittees and natural resource agency employees. Our primary objectives were to 1) determine whether Extension is reaching its target audience, 2) describe the monitoring practices and attitudes of permittees and agency staff, 3) determine whether there is a relationship between permittees’ exposure to Cooperative Extension and their monitoring and management practices, and 4) identify the monitoring information needs and preferences of permittees and natural resource agency staff. We found that Arizona’s rangeland monitoring Extension program has been effective in reaching a large part of its target audience, and a significant proportion of Arizona permittees monitor on public, private, and state- owned rangelands. However, overall monitoring adoption rates remain low. Extension contact is associated with use of monitoring and other beneficial management practices, and permittees and agency employees report that monitoring increased their knowledge and led to changes in management. Monitoring by permittees improves agency-permittee relationships in many cases. Most permittees and agency employees believe that their respective peers are the most reliable source of monitoring information and prefer to receive information from Extension through face-to-face contact at workshops or personalized on-site assistance. The evaluation revealed important social dimensions of rangeland monitoring. Extension agents play a key role in facilitating the social process of monitoring, as well as providing technical training in monitoring skills. Further study is needed to investigate whether permittee monitoring actually leads to better management, improved economic returns, or increased tenure security.