Proceedings brand creation for a prescribed fire culture – utilizing key social media parameters. Lars Coleman*1, J. Kelly Hoffman1, Thomas McDaniel1, R. Patrick Bixler2, Urs P. Kreuter1, Morgan Russell3

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BRAND CREATION FOR A PRESCRIBED FIRE CULTURE – UTILIZING KEY SOCIAL MEDIA PARAMETERS. Lars Coleman*1, J. Kelly Hoffman1, Thomas McDaniel1, R. Patrick Bixler2, Urs P. Kreuter1, Morgan Russell3; 1Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2University of Texas, Austin, TX, 3Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, San Angelo, TX


There is much information about the safe application and ecological benefits of prescribed fire as a rangeland management tool. Accordingly, many federal and state agencies, private entities, and landowner representative associations promote the use of prescribed fire and provide information, training and/or equipment to enhance its safe use. However, there is still widespread public resistance to the broad scale use of this management tool. Social media provide a valuable outlet for positive information about prescribed fire to a broader audience. However, social media are underutilized to bridge the gap between current decision makers and potential prescribed fire users.

Given the rising age demographic of farmers and ranchers across the rangeland of the USA, a new generation of decision makers on these lands is inevitable. The shift to a younger demographic will result in greater use by land managers of social media sites. Building a foundation for information sharing for this group is critical for three reasons. First, there is a need to ensure greater access to information by a newer generation. Second, effective mentorship requires information utilization across multiple media platforms as a supplement to in person discussions. Third, information needs to be shared further through easier means.

Interviews were conducted for landowner representative associations and government agency employees about their opinions of prescribed fire and the use of information about this tool. While increasing interest in disseminating more information about prescribed fire to potential users was identified, there is concern that such information is not being targeted effectively. Information about social media approaches to sharing information about prescribed fire will be presented.


MANAGING SPECIES AT RISK - POLICIES AND TOOLS. Peg L. Strankman*; Barbwire Consulting, Airdrie, AB


The Managing Species at Risk - Policies and Tools workshop was sponsored by Environment and Climate Change Canada to discuss current knowledge and management of species at risk (SAR) on the Canadian Prairies.
The workshop focused on two broad areas.  One addressed the opportunities in developing sustainable approaches to managing species at risk (SAR) and their needs.  This included presentations on the use of tools such as modifying range health assessments, developing beneficial management practices and taking an ecosystem/multi-species approach. The use of citizen science was also explored.

The second area focused on the use of policies to lower the risk for ranchers protecting SAR habitat through conservation/management agreements, incentives such as payment for ecological services and providing additional management information through existing agricultural programs such as the provincial environmental farm plans (EFP).

The following is a summary of themes found in the presentations and discussions following the workshop. This presentation will elaborate on the project approaches and themes.
Primary themes
One size does not fit all. Respect the individuality of each agricultural operation.
Take a multiple species approach.
Getting more information into hands of producers is a good thing
Make the programs voluntary
Management changes are sometimes minimal cost
Economic viability of the operation must be considered.
Consistent long-term funding is necessary to make the programs operational
Strong participation from agricultural organizations is important
The first seven presentations featured projects currently underway under the Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) fund of Environment and Climate Change Canada. The SARPAL initiative is intended to promote voluntary (i.e. non-regulatory) protection of individuals, residences, and/or critical habitat located on commercial agricultural lands, through a partnership approach.

CHILDREN OF EJIDATARIOS WILLINGNESS TO ESTABLISH HOME GARDENS FOR SOCIAL-ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT IN SONORA, MEXICO. Martha H. Martin Rivera*1, Maribel Montoya-Juarez1, Fernando A. Ibarra-Flores1, Salomon Moreno Medina1, George A. Rasmussen2; 1University of Sonora, Santa Ana, Mexico, 2Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX


Home garden is crucial for urban survival of many people in northwestern Mexico. Attributes include bringing family members together; production of fresh food, and the potential to meet economic, social, ecological sustainability and spaces for cultural, gender and social stability. The study was conducted at the preliminary school Vicente Guerrero at Ejido Santa Martha aiming to monitor producers’ young sons’ perception about the implementation of home gardens as means of food production, to promote family unity and as economic input. Surveys were randomly applied to thirty-eight 9 to 11 years old children of ejidatarios (shareholder on common land) during the summer of 2016. Results show that 95% of the children agree to participate in the establishment of home gardens in their school or house. Sixty five percent of surveyors said that during free time they help in home duties. Why to plant vegetables and fruits, 44% said for more plants for eating, 28% to spend less money buying vegetables and fruits. All them agree in having their own home garden and at least 78% of them were willing to spend 2-3 hours a week along with their family taking care of plants. Surveyors agree (65%) to have a necessity of having 20-100 pesos a week for fun. Sixty percent of the students say that they spend free time watching Tv, playing with an electrical devise such computer, tablet or phone. What they like to buy with the money earned in the home gardens: 60% answer that any small farm animal such as chickens, rabbits, ducks and geese; 40% answered that they were willing buying some school supplies such backpacks, notebooks and pencils as well as clothes, shoes and toys. We conclude that home gardens may play an important role in increasing their income, promoting family integration and future economic improvement. 

. Jasmine E. Bruno*1, Elena Dosamantes1, Maria Fernandez-Gimenez1, Kevin Jablonski1, Hailey Wilmer2; 1Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 2USDA-Northern Plains Climate Hub, Fort Collins, CO


Rangeland science aims to create knowledge to sustain rangeland social-ecological systems over the long term. Range science has made substantial progress on understanding ecological dynamics of rangeland systems and the management practices that sustain them, and these findings have been systematically reviewed and synthesized in various venues.  The social factors (e.g. demographics, social norms and networks, institutions, culture, economic incentives) that determine whether sustainable management is implemented have received less attention in the US, and existing research on rancher behavior has not been systematically reviewed and synthesized. We present preliminary findings of a review of US rangeland social science related to rancher decision making. Our overarching goal is to clarify what we know about rancher decision-making and to highlight key evidence gaps and research needs. Key questions guiding our review include: What methods have been used to examine rancher decision-making, and where have they been applied? How have social differences such as race, ethnicity, gender, and class been addressed in the rangeland decision-making literature? What practices/interventions/predictors and outcome/response variables have been considered? What has been the impact of practices/interventions/predictors on various outcomes, and across what timescale? Is there evidence that past rangeland social science has been applied to the design of subsequent education, outreach, policy development or program implementation?


PARTNERS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS ON PUBLIC LANDS. Laura K. Snell1, Jenny Jayo*2, Jaycee Decker2; 1University of California, Alturas, CA, 2United States Forest Service, Alturas, CA


Modoc County California lies in the northeast corner of the California bordering Oregon and Nevada. Public land encompasses nearly 70% of the county and 61% of the county is managed by the United States Forest Service as the Modoc National Forest. The Modoc National Forest is a diverse forest with timber, recreation, grazing, obsidian mining, wildlife, and wild horses. Management and restoration of these large expanses of federal land impacts all the residents of Modoc County and has created a unique relationship between the Modoc National Forest and local stakeholder groups. We will share several success stories where diverse groups have worked together on the Modoc National Forest to manage the landscape for multi-use and developed strong networks for success.



. Tlektes Yespolov1, Marat Beksultanov2, Stefan Strohmeier3, Mira Haddad3, Mark A. Weltz*4, Sayjro K. Nouwakpo5, Kenneth Spaeth6, Ian Burns7, Jason Nesbit4; 1Kazakh National Agrarian University, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2AgriTech Hub Kazakhstan, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 3International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas, Amman, Jordan, 4USDA ARS, Reno, NV, 5University of Nevada - Reno, Reno, NV, 6USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ft. Worth, TX, 7USDA ARS, Tucson, AZ


In the United States, 36% of the land is rangeland with 25% of it privately owned and vulnerable to accelerated soil loss. Soil erosion from mismanagement, desertification, and drought affect more than 50% of Asia and 70% of Middle Eastern rangelands. Soil erosion prone rangelands often have decreased vegetation cover, changes in vegetation composition, and altered hydrologic cycle with subsequent loss of productivity and livestock forage availability. While land managers cannot control climate, they can continuously apply and modify management practices to increase ecological potential of a site and promote initiatives for more resilient rangelands. For many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, preventing soil erosion and desertification while mitigating the effects of drought are pre-requisites for economic growth and food security. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are working with Kazakh National Agrarian University in Kazakhstan and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), in Jordan to develop a multiphase approach to validate and deploy various rangeland assessment technologies. The multiphase approach combines use of onsite rangeland assessments, drone and satellite imagery, and natural resource support systems to identify areas with accelerated soil erosion. Once areas of concern are identified, alternative scenarios for arresting soil erosion and rehabilitating the area can be evaluated using the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) and the KINEROS2 watershed model to prioritize and optimize restoration. Typical rangeland assessments for Kazakhstan, Jordan, and the western United States are presented along with discussion of how this approach can be used to inform resource managers to make decisions that increases stability and promotes sustainability of rangelands. Increasing sustainable rangeland management practices and building resiliency to drought across Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, can have a positive economic and environmental impact from a localized to global scale.



. Karin Decker1, Michelle Fink1, Lee Grunau1, Corrie N. Knapp*2, Shannon McNeeley1, Renee J. Rondeau3, Tyler Beeton1, Trevor Even1, John Gioia2, Julia Nave2, Bruce Rittenhouse4; 1Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 2Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, CO, 3Colorado State University, Hesperus, CO, 4Bureau of Land Management, Denver, CO


Increased variability and novel climate regimes challenge the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) ability to effectively manage for multiple use and ecosystem function. In this poster, we present an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional effort to assess ecological and social vulnerability on BLM lands in Colorado.  The ecological vulnerability assessment utilized climate change scenarios, niche modeling, and a literature review to understand the vulnerability of species and ecosystems to climate change. The social vulnerability assessment conducted a grey literature review to understand how the BLM was currently integrating climate change in their planning efforts, and paired a statewide indicators approach with case studies to explore livelihood vulnerability to climate change.  By looking at both ecological and social vulnerability, this assessment provides a framework to prioritize management actions for species, ecosystems and livelihoods. The patterns of vulnerability revealed in this assessment will help managers to make informed decisions to increase the resilience of ecosystems and the livelihoods that depend on them. 


ECO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF DIVERGENT CONSERVATION PARADIGMS IN GRAZED LANDSCAPES. Grace E. Woodmansee*1, Tina L. Saitone1, John M. Harper2, Kenneth W. Tate3, Leslie Roche4; 1UC Davis, Davis, CA, 2University of California, Ukiah, CA, 3University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, 4University of California, Davis, CA


Grazing lands across the Globe provide essential habitat for sensitive species. Balancing habitat conservation with the infrastructure needs of a growing population is a central challenge facing planners, conservationists, agriculturalists, and policy makers. Differing paradigms among and within conservation/regulatory entities often results in divergent management strategies on mitigation parcels nested within agricultural landscapes. We are investigating the ecological and economic impacts of alternative conservation strategies for a 2,000 acre wetland mitigation for highway construction on grazing lands in northern California. Ecosystems services addressed in the mitigation strategy include clean water, habitat for sensitive plants and fisheries, and native plant diversity. There are two extreme conservation paradigms evident in the Little Lake Valley Mitigation Plan. The “Tradeoff Paradigm” assumes in-place agricultural activities pose an immediate risk to conservation objectives, and agricultural production must be eliminated or species will be lost. The “Synergy Paradigm” assumes that, given the desired ecological attributes already exist on site in the presence of long-term agricultural management, agricultural production and mitigation can be compatible in new conservation grazing strategies. Potentially, the conservation benefits are dependent upon the agricultural activities. The tradeoff and synergy paradigms have been applied to approximately 500 and 1500 acres, respectively in the Little Lake Valley Mitigation Plan. Compared to pre-mitigation grazing management for optimum agricultural production, we are assessing the ecological and economic impacts of 1) complete removal of grazing (tradeoff paradigm); and 2) grazing management focused on conservation objectives (synergy paradigm). We will present preliminary ecological and economic results from this assessment.

. Ariana I. Gloria*1, Andrew Brischke2; 1University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Kingman, AZ, 2University of Arizona, Kingman, AZ


This study highlights one of the many successful and progressive ranching operations and the people on the land who are doing the work in Arizona. In 1993, Anita Waite and Sherwood Koehn moved from their alfalfa farm in the Central Valley of California to try their hands at ranching in northwestern Arizona. The Cane Springs Ranch, located on the eastern slopes of the Hualapai Mountains, encompasses about 70,000 acres with a checkerboard of Federal, State and private land. These two ranchers understand the importance of collaboration and sound natural resource management. Their collaboration with numerous Federal and State agencies, non-governmental organizations and The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension resulted in an invaluable cooperative management plan, a land exchange in order to keep this prime rangeland from being developed, and countless range improvements beneficial to the health of the land, wildlife and public land users. Despite long-term drought conditions since 1993, monitoring data suggest the plant community has improved. During this same time period, management changed from yearlong grazing to a deferred grazing system. This study explores and details historic and current grazing management practices, collaborative projects that have been completed since 1993, and plant community improvements as evidenced through repeat photography and long-term vegetative trend data. Looking forward, one of the foremost conservation challenges this ranch faces is the invasion of Lehman’s lovegrass.


NARROWING THE GAP: DOCUMENTING DECISION CALENDARS TO INCREASE SERVICE PROVIDERS’ LITERACY OF WORKING LANDS. Windy K. Kelley*1, Jeremiah Vardiman2, Hannah Swanbom3; 1University of Wyoming Extension & USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub, Pinedale, WY, 2University of Wyoming Extension, Powell, WY, 3University of Wyoming Extension, Casper, WY


Agricultural producers and land managers have decision and operational implementation calendars – some of which are written; however, many of these calendars are subconsciously shared orally from one generation to another. These calendars are instrumental in the success of the management of working lands – especially when one considers inter and intra annual weather variability and extreme events.

However, many service providers of weather and climate forecasts, and other relevant information used by working land managers to make informed decisions are several generations removed from agricultural production and land management. Therefore, the service providers are unaware of when working land mangers make and implement decisions, and what information is needed to make informed decisions.
There is a need to document when different types of working land managers are making and implementing decisions, and conditions they consider when making these decisions – directly or indirectly related to weather and climate. Additionally, there is a need to share these decision calendars with service providers to increase their literacy of working lands. In theory, increasing the literacy of service providers will result in more timely delivery of relevant information enabling working land managers to adapt their decision-making and implementation, which would result in more resilient working lands.

We are starting to document decision calendars in several locations in Wyoming and Colorado through workshops with working land managers. We will assess the received information and then explore how to share the decision calendars with service providers in a useful and useable format.

. Hailey Wilmer*; USDA-Northern Plains Climate Hub, Fort Collins, CO


This poster asks: how do ranchers know what to do when they are faced with a decision under high levels of complexity and uncertainty? In the semi-arid Western Great Plains of North America, rancher decisions have implications for rangeland ecosystems and for livelihoods. Adaptive management research has largely ignored the emotional geographies and ethical frameworks that enable decision-making in surprising or highly variable situations.  I propose adding the conceptual lens of ethics of care to the adaptive management research toolbox enables a more complete exploration of this phenomenon. I evaluated repeated interviews with ranchers in the western Great Plains to a) compare decision-making under relatively certain and uncertain conditions and b) to explore how ethical frameworks helped ranchers identify and prioritize management actions. I describe how traditional ranching practices relate to justice-based ethics in more certain conditions, while care-based ethics are useful in new and uncertain decisions. Rancher practices of care also reveal three themes: 1) care depends on ranchers feeling some level of control in complex systems; 2) ranchers’ stewardship ethic prioritizes care for situated livelihoods (those tied to specific places and contexts); and 3) care ethics lead to a “managing for the middle” paradigm (e.g. conservative, static stocking rates and homogenous cattle distribution) because care is associated with limiting both economic risk and exploitation of rangeland resources. I consider how this analysis of care ethics and critical gaps in rancher justifications for management decisions enhances existing economic and sociological theories of rancher decision-making processes. I conclude by arguing that efforts to promote management for heterogeneity on rangelands through the restoration of processes like fire and prairie dog populations should consider both the economic and ethical considerations of ranch managers.


INTRODUCING VERSION 5 OF INTERPRETING INDICATORS OF RANGELAND HEALTH. Mike Pellant*1, Patrick Shaver2, David A. Pyke3, Jeffrey Herrick4, Fee Busby5, Gregg Riegel6, Nika Lepak7, David Toledo8, Beth A. Newingham9, Emily Kachergis10; 1BLM (retired), Boise, ID, 2NRCS (retired), Monmouth, OR, 3U.S. Geological Survey, Corvallis, OR, 4USDA ARS, Las Cruces, NM, 5Utah State University, Logan, UT, 6USFS, Bend, OR, 7BLM, Boise, ID, 8USDA-ARS, Bismarck, ND, 9USDA-ARS, Reno, NV, 10BLM, Denver, CO


Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health was initiated in 1994 as a qualitative, rapid assessment technique to evaluate rangeland health. Seventeen field indicators are used to rate three attributes of rangeland health: 1) soil/site stability, 2) hydrologic function, and 3) biotic integrity. The published versions of this protocol are version 3 (2000) and version 4 (2005).  Version 5 represents a continuing effort by an interagency cadre to improve the use of and consistency of results when using this protocol. The revision improves the development or modification of reference sheets and clarifies that the reference for conducting evaluations is the natural range of variability within the natural disturbance regime of the reference state. More emphasis is also placed on the functional/structural worksheet in conducting evaluations. This revision also supports linking qualitative and quantitative measurements, where quantitative measurements may also be used for baseline monitoring. A provisional copy of version 5 will be posted online and field-tested in 2018. Input from field tests will be incorporated into the published technical reference available in early 2019. 


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