Rangeland News - January 2015

Gearing up for Sacramento

Jenny PluharJenny Pluhar, 2014 SRM President

SRM Members,

I hope this finds you, like me, sitting in front of a warm fire eagerly anticipating the upcoming meeting in Sacramento, California. I have never been to Sacramento, and besides getting to pass the gavel to 2015 President Pat Shaver, I am really looking forward to learning a bit about that part of the world! The CalPac Section has put in a great deal of effort and I am certain they are as eager as I to be underway!

SRM has had a busy year, to say the least. We have a new publisher for our journals, Elsevier. We are in the second budget cycle where we do not budget and rely heavily upon annual meeting income as we have in the past. We have several training agreements ongoing with federal agencies who recognize SRM as the leader in the art and science of range management. Our efforts in Washington, DC are paying off with more members able to attend the trainings in Sacramento associated with the meetings. We will again be live streaming some sessions and those will be archived as well for later viewing. Two groups are tackling challenges related to membership, the Membership Action Team and the Membership Services Task Force. Another task force is forming up to deal with our website.

We are emphasizing our social media (I like to think of it as “info media”) presence, increasing followers on both Facebook and Twitter. If you are not a Twitter user yet, saddle up. We have a special hashtag, #respectontherange, with which we are highlighting all kinds of good things going on in the world of range management. Search that hashtag and find articles on people and groups doing cool things. It is an easy way to promote our members and others who are active on the range. Heaven knows we hear plenty in the media when something goes wrong. We are trying to be ahead of the game here and give some recognition to what is going right! When I hear the young people say “He is doing it like a ‘boss!’” I have to laugh, we have the original “Boss” on the range……the Trail Boss. We were “doing it like a ‘boss’” before it was cool!

See you in Sacramento!

Happy Trails,
Jenny Pluhar
2014 SRM President

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Where will the wagon lead?

Barry Irving, SRM Director

I like to read settlement history. I once heard a historian quoted as saying “how will you know where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?” Along this line I once read a pretty cool little book that was authored by a fellow who lived the settlement period in southern Alberta, it was titled “Where the Wagon Led” by R.D. Symons. It was cool because it told the story of the development of an industry that flourished around the turn of the century, heavy horse ranching. Heavy horses were used to do heavy work, pulling farm wagons, breaking the prairie soil in places to seed cereal crops, even providing the horsepower to harvest those same crops. An entire ranching industry sprang up around the provision of heavy horses to a developing agricultural society. Quickly though, heavy horse ranches were a thing of the past; heavy horses were replaced with heavy horsepower tractors.

I go back to that book on occasion and wonder where the wagon will lead us in the future? SRM has its roots in rangeland rehabilitation on a massive scale after the settlement era that was characterized by uncontrolled livestock grazing. Since its inception SRM has been a mainstay as the management of rangeland has adapted to a greater society that is more urbanized than ever before, and as rangeland has been converted on that same massive scale to annual crop production - and in some cases back to rangeland again. Urban and suburban sprawl and industrial infrastructure are the latest converters of rangelands.

SRM has weathered a great deal of change, but the biggest challenge of change might just be upon us. SRM is a member based organization and today’s new member, that will be tomorrow’s old sage, might not be the same as they were historically. They will have the same love of rangeland, but maybe from a different bent; they will have the same desire to learn about the management of rangeland, but their sources of information might be different; and they will have the same strong personalities as our members have always had, but their opinions might also be novel and nudge or even push the traditions of SRM in new and different directions.

So, where will the wagon lead SRM in the future? The membership will take SRM to where it needs to be, whenever it needs to be there. You are a member, where do you think SRM needs to be, and how do you think it should get there? You are our SRM wagon, and it’s time for you to take the lead.

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Ecology and Management of Grazing: An Online Course

The California Rangeland Research and Information Center at UC Davis is now offering an online science-based course entitled the Ecology and Management of Grazing. This online course is organized in four modules that can be taken separately or in sequential order. The modules are:

  1. Introduction to Ecology and Grazing,
  2. Foraging Behavior and Livestock Distribution,
  3. Forage Quality and Grazing Animal Nutrition, and
  4. Ranching and Grazing Systems.

Each module is introduced by a documentary quality high definition video followed by a series of narrated PowerPoint presentations. There are reading assignments and practical exercises. Each module is self-paced and will take 10 to 20 hours to complete. See the registration page for outlines of each module.

Course registration fees are $200 per module or $600 for all four modules. Registration fees can be reduced for groups of more than 10 people. Contact Mel George (mrgeorge@ucdavis.edu, phone 530-752-1720) for group discounts. Each module is approved by the Society for Range Management for 16 CEUs.

California Rangeland Research and Information Center
Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis

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Where to find information on Rangeland Careers, Education and Online Courses?

Prospective students interested in Rangeland Ecology and Management throughout North America can locate expanded choices in curriculum, outdoor research projects and employment prospects at rangelandswest.org/careersandeducation.

The new site features thumbnail sketches of current students who share their classroom and outdoor research experiences in various parts of the Western U.S. Profiles include rangeland students from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Career specialists are needed to help manage the grassland, shrubland, woodland and desert landscapes that comprise immense rangeland ecosystems, most west of the Mississippi River. Current and projected job demand is strong. Specialties in rangeland ecology include soil science, plant life, wildlife species and livestock and watershed/land use policies. Management needs span invasive plant control, endangered species surveys and planning for sustainable livestock operations on both private and public lands. Other applications using range education include prairie land reclamation and restoration, vegetation management and state and federal land management research in fire and range ecology.

Need online courses to retool for a career in Rangeland Management?

Visit rangelandswest.org/coursecatalog for a searchable database of online and hybrid courses that can bring your credentials up to speed.

The new websites were funded from a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant titled Repositioning Rangeland Education for a Changing World. Contact Susan Edinger Marshall at sem11@humboldt.edu to obtain free bookmarks and postcards that point to the careers and education website.

Susan Edinger Marshall

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Tag calves. Dad’s 60th birthday. Mend fence. Caleb’s 4H showing. Earn your master’s degree in integrated resource management online from Colorado State University and get a research institution rooted in agriculture, plus the flexibility your life requires. Get the education you need to hone your craft amidst the life you’re living now. Learn more at www.csurangeland.com.


January Photo Quiz Questions

Range Quiz PhotoQuestion:
Little footprints in rangeland snows might make pretty patterns, but what stories might they tell about those that made them?

And what withered, iconic vegetation seems to have been at the center of attention?

Send your best and final answer (regardless of “confidence level”) to Vicky Trujillo atvtrujillo@rangelands.org, subject line “Range Photo Quiz.”

And - Call for Quiz Photos! - Please send in your pixeled puzzles for the next edition of the Range Photo Quiz - our well of images has about run dry! Be sure to include a question and answer with the photo! In order to meet publication deadlines please send your responses by the 15th of the month!

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November Photo Quiz Answer

Range Quiz PhotoQuestion:
Rangelands are comprised of abiotic and biotic factors, and the interactions between them. What might be noted about the scope and scale of rangeland processes from this "monitoring snapshot?" What might this look like in a hundred years?

“I have seen this type of thing many times growing up in the Palmer Divide/Breaks area NW of Limon, CO,” notes Julie Elliott. “The tree and rock are 'battling' it out and we'll know who is stronger and wins in 100 years! The rock has taken its toll, as evidenced by the dead branches. Not knowing what the rock looked like when the tree sprouted, but one could speculate that the tree is having some splitting impact on the rock. On the other hand, the rock may have already been split this way, thus providing protection and extra moisture to the young seedling. It does look like the roots have managed to wrap around the rock toward the viewer, so it may actually get an advantage by gaining access to the moisture that runs off the rock.”

Bob Patton adds, “It looks like this juniper, or it might be a pine, has started growing in the dirt in the crack in these rocks. I expect that in a hundred years it will have the rocks split further apart.” For Kent Ferguson, “This is a photo of the erosion process on rangelands in the mountain west area of the United States, it is telling the story that the juniper/rock association is protected and the soils around the juniper are washing/blowing.”

Geologist Carrie Gordon notes “the geology is driving processes with the shrubs/trees taking full advantage of the protective niches the eroding rocks are providing. Similar shrubs/trees are establishing on the slope behind. The arid environment looks to be colluvium/rock fall edging onto a valley. In 100 years, these sturdy shrubs/trees will be larger with slightly more contribution of sediment from the freeze/thaw of the rocks, providing more shade for the ground. I suspect that the rocks are probably sedimentary in origin; granitic rocks would have the same relationship with the plants. The geochemistry will also be a driver - calcareous or siliceous. Would love to see the rest of the surrounding slopes.

And, to mix a little art with the preceding science, here is a little Range Haiku received just as we were going to press:

Parched roots crack
Ancient seabed sands:
States of Transition

Send your quiz answers to Vicky Trujillo at vtrujillo@rangelands.org, subject line Range Photo Quiz; and PLEASE send us your submission for our next SRM Range Photo Quiz. Be sure to include a question and answer with the photo!

In order to meet publication deadlines please send your responses by the 15th of the month!

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You Tube on the Range

A Likely Story

Appropriate for our upcoming SRM Sacramento meeting, this recent KVIE TV (California sierra and central valley PBS) video tells a nostalgic, somewhat sad but still hopeful story that will ring familiar across many western rangelands:

“A retiring California cattle rancher goes on his last cattle drive before handing the family ranch off to the next generation. As the family faces an uncertain future so does the small town of Likely, California where they live. A changing rural economy has forced many to leave the once-thriving community.”

Up towards the Oregon border (in 3 person per square mile country), the town of Likely (population 63 and waning) is the setting for insightful vignettes of a way of life facing transition to a diminished state. Having lost its school and threatened with a Post Office closure, the community still hubs around an eclectic general store and the “Most Likely Café.” For the McGarva family, it’s time to trail the cows 20 miles back “home” for the winter. They’ve been here since emigrating from Scotland in 1912 (fortunately prevented from boarding the Titanic as it was overbooked!). 75 year old patriarch Ken McGarva rides point for one last time while immediate and extended family members, many returned just for this annual event, take their accustomed places in the drive, relating their stories (and visions for the future) in turn to the city-slicker journalist-on-horseback. With moistened eye Ken explains how he and his wife decided that it was time to step down and turn things over to the young folks, and these successors are contemplating their prospects with a mixture of confidence and apprehension; there is an air of bitter-sweet to match the incipient signs of fall - it is an awesome thing to see someone consciously letting go of a legacy and others preparing to shoulder its rewards and challenges (a scene repeated with increasing frequency throughout the west, and not always so well executed).

Rousing, triumphal music provides stirring accompaniment as Ken, somewhat like a Drum Major, leads his parade of 250 well matched red and white cattle down Main Street. State Highway 395 is thereby blocked, but there is not much traffic to impede. The cattle are let into their winter pasture. The senior McGarvas will move to a small place on the other side of the valley. The successors work out their new management roles and contemplate new initiatives like direct to consumer beef marketing. The saddle weary family savors a well earned end-of-trail feast which includes authentic grilled oysters (not the more common ranch variety ostreidae.rockymountainis)– this is, after all, California!.

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CSU Rangelands Degree


Position Announcement: Department Head, Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Colorado State University

The Department Head is the lead administrator of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship within the Warner College of Natural Resources. The Department Head is primarily responsible for leadership and administration of teaching, research, extension, and service activities of departmental personnel. This is a full-time, 12-month appointment.

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Earned doctorate in forestry, range science, natural resources, or related field.
  2. Experience with education, research, and outreach.
  3. Accomplishments that meet the requirements for a tenured full professor or a commensurate level of relevant experience and accomplishments.

Application Procedure
Applicants should submit:

  • A letter that addresses the candidate’s experience, performance, and vision in light of the job qualifications, position criteria, and departmental context.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of five references who will be contacted only after the short list of candidates is established and candidates have been notified.

To apply and view a complete position description, please visit: http://warnercnr.colostate.edu/employment-opportunities.html. For full consideration applications should be submitted by 10 March, 2015. Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. Rich Conant, Chair, Search Committee at Rich.Conant@colostate.edu.

Colorado State University conducts background checks on all final candidates. CSU is an EO/EA/AA employer. 

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Position Announcement: Assistant Professor, Oregon State University Extension Service

Oregon State University Extension Service is recruiting for a full time (1.00FTE) Assistant Professor (Practice) in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal and Rangeland Science. This position will serve the Baker and Union Counties. Salary is commensurate with education and experience.

More information. Posting #0013404. Closing date: 02/28/2015. OSU is an AA/EOE/Vets/Disabled.

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Position Announcement: Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in Rangeland Management, University of California - Davis

The Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, seeks to fill an 11-month, career-track position at the Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension rank.

This academic position has 100% Cooperative Extension (CE) responsibilities and will be located in the Department of Plant Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) at UC Davis. The candidate will conduct applied research that is closely linked to an extension and outreach program designed to address and solve critical issues and problems associated with rangelands, particularly to optimize management strategies for the dual uses of ranch enterprise economic viability and enhancement of ecosystem services. The successful candidate will exhibit statewide visibility and leadership in research and extension, and interact collaboratively with others within the department and college, as well as those outside the department with expertise in rangeland ecology, water resources, invasive weeds, economics, soils, animal management, animal health, and climate change. Given the importance of the California livestock industry, the diversity of subject matter, and the impacts of rangeland management on millions of acres of land and millions of acre-feet of water, the person in this position needs to be highly interdisciplinary and collaborative. This position fits within the academic plan of the Department of Plant Sciences, CA&ES and UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), which aims to improve sustainable plant- and animal-based agro-ecosystems for the future.

This position will support relevant UC Agriculture and Natural Resource strategic initiatives and program teams (http://ucanr.edu/About_ANR/). Research and extension activities will be conducted in the laboratories and fields at UC Davis, on diverse stakeholder lands (e.g., commercial ranches, local, state and federal grazing lands), and at UC Research and Extension Centers (RECs) located throughout California.

This CE Specialist is expected to develop a nationally-recognized research program that is directly linked to a statewide extension and outreach program, secure extramural funding, and publish research results in appropriate peer-reviewed journals and extension publications. The Rangeland Management Specialist will be expected to develop an independent but collaborative, mission-oriented integrated research and extension program in rangeland Management. The candidate’s interwoven research and extension efforts will focus on developing management strategies to sustain the production of agricultural goods and ecological services on rangelands in the face of challenges such as drought, weed invasion, and the pressing need to increase agricultural productivity. This CE Specialist will bring leadership, visibility, and cohesion to the research and extension efforts of an interdisciplinary team of CE academics and Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) faculty as well as private and public stakeholders around the state and region. The appointee will also organize, coordinate or participate in meetings/workshops with CE academics and other stakeholders in multiple venues. Meeting these expectations will require extensive in-state travel. 

Ph.D. in rangeland management, ecology, or science, applied plant or soil sciences or ecology, weed science, or a closely related field with a demonstrated emphasis on rangeland management. Ability to conduct independent research and outreach in rangeland management must be demonstrated. Of particular interest is a candidate with demonstrated capacity and interest in interdisciplinary rangeland research spanning plant, animal, soil, economic, and environmental sciences. The candidate must be able to meet the experience and academic requirements to become a Certified Range Manager (CA State Board of Forestry) within the first 4 to 6 years following appointment. Applicants must have demonstrated leadership ability and communication skills.

For more information and to apply, visit http://apptrkr.com/564303

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Assistant Professor of Rangeland and Forest Watershed Management (position number 1097), University of Wyoming

The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management (ESM) of the University of Wyoming is recruiting a 9-month tenure-track Assistant Professor of Rangeland and Forest Watershed Management with a 45% Teaching, 45% Research, and 10% Service appointment. ESM is an interdisciplinary department, offering degrees in Soil Science, Entomology, Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, and Agroecology, and several undergraduate minors including Forest Resources and Reclamation and Restoration Ecology.

Required qualifications are an earned PhD at the time of hire in watershed or rangeland management, rangeland ecology, forest ecology, or a closely related area, demonstrated research productivity in the form of peer-refereed journal publications, and demonstrated ability for effective teaching. Preferred qualifications are postdoctoral or post-PhD research experience in watershed-related studies, a research focus on applied, spatial and field-based watershed management in rangeland or forest systems, experience in grantsmanship, excellent verbal and written communication skills, demonstrated ability to work effectively with natural resource agencies, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues, students, and staff.

See the full announcement and application. Review of applications will begin on February 12, 2015 but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy. Please see www.uwyo.edu/diversity/fairness

We conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Offers of employment are contingent upon the completion of the background check.

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Workshop Announcements

SWGLA Whole Ranch Planning & Grass-Fed Applications: Arizona
October 23-March 7, 2015
More information.

March 6-7, 2015
Prescott/Mayer, AZ/Orme Ranch:
Financial Planning & Grass-fed/Local Options

Missouri State University Webinar Training Opportunities!
Training Exchanges From the Ground Up, Webinar
January 21, 2015, 1-2:15 CST

Join Jeremy Bailey and Ben Wheeler as they discuss the strategy behind the Fire Learning Network's Training Exchanges and describe in detail how to create burn units across multiple landownerships in the Great Plains.

Fire and Prairie-chickens, Webinar
January 29, 2015 2-3 pm CST

Dwayne Elmore will discuss how fire, or the absence of fire, affects the greater and lesser prairie-chicken with an emphasis on management implications for grassland managers. Watch our blog for more details and CEU opportunities.

2015 Native Prairie Restoration & Reclamation Workshop
The Building Blocks of Restoration
January 28 & 29, 2015 – Saskatoon, SK

2015 Kansas Natural Resource Conference (and KS Section Winter Meeting)
Partnerships in Conservation: Bridging the Gap between Science and Politics
January 29-30, 2015 – Doubletree by Hilton Wichita Airport, Wichita, KS

68th Annual SRM Meeting, Technical Training & Tradeshow:
Managing Diversity
Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2015 - Sacramento, CA
Join us for a great meeting in Sacramento!

Northern Great Plains Section Meeting
Tuesday February 3, 4-6 pm at the SRM Annual Meeting
Sacramento, CA

75th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference
Natural Resource Management in an Increasingly Connected World
Feb. 8-11, 2015 - Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, IN

Tamarisk Coalition's 12th Annual Conference
Advancing Riparian Restoration in the West
Feb. 10-12, 2015 - Albuquerque, NM
More Information

High Altitude Restoration Science & Practice
March 10-12, 2015 - Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
Call for Abstracts: Deadline for submission is November 28, 2014

18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society
Innovation in the Rangelands
April 12-16th 2015 - Alice Springs NT
Twitter: @arsconf2015
Facebook: Australian Rangeland Society Conference
Instagram: @arsconf2015
Conference brochure now available!

X International Rangeland Congress - IRC 2016 Canada Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada - July 17-22, 2016

2013-2014 NAIPSC Webinar Series
Since invasive plants don't take a break, neither does the NAIPSC. The 2013-2014 NAIPSC Webinar Series, NAIPSC OnlineCommunity, and new NAIPSC Web Course will keep you engaged and informed about invasive plants.

We've added two more webinars to our archives and will now be broadcasting the remaining webinars free to anyone who is interested in invasive plant ecology and management. If you know of others who would be interested, make sure you let them know about this great opportunity.

For information on upcoming and archived webinars, visit the NAIPSC website.

Ecology & Management of Grazing - Online Course
More Information 

ESD Webinars from the 2014 SRM Annual Meeting
Available for viewing and download at http://www.rangelands.org/ESD/index.shtml

Intermountain Native Plant Summit VII
Presentations now available at http://gbfiresci.squarespace.com/workshops/

Understanding the Problem with Junipers in the Great Plains
Recordings available at http://blogs.missouristate.edu/gpfirescience/2014/04/14/understanding-the-problem-with-junipers-in-the-great-plains-recordings/

Cool-Season Invasive Grasses: Abstracts and Presentation
Available at http://www.ndsu.edu/nrm/seminar_and_workshop_announcements/

2014 NGP Section Symposium, Managing Rangelands for Threatened & Endangered Species
Agenda and Session recordings for the October 9 meeting are now available at: http://www.rangelands.org/events/2014/2014-managing-rangelands-symposium.pdf

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Upcoming Functions & Continuing Education Pre-Approved Courses

Click here to view a full calendar of functions that have been pre-approved for SRM Continuing Education Units (CEUs) If you know of a function that you want to attend but do not see it on our list, please send the information to: SRM, ATTN: Vicky Trujillo, 6901 S. Pierce St., Suite 225 * Littleton, CO 80128; Fax 303.986.3892 or email: vtrujillo@rangelands.org.

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Society for Range Management6901 S. Pierce St., Suite 225 * Littleton, CO 80128
Phone: (303) 986-3309 * Fax: (303) 986-3892
Email: info@rangelands.org

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A well-trained and highly motivated group of professionals and rangeland users working with productive, sustainable rangeland ecosystems.

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