About the California Pacific Section and Society for Range Management
Providing science, leadership, and information for California-Pacific Rangeland Communities
Our Mission is to promote the art and science of rangeland management through:
- Sound Science
- Professional Development
- Continuing Education
- Technical Assistance
- Interdisciplinary Collaboration
- Constructive Interchange among divers interests.
The Society for Range Management is a professional organization composed of individuals with a common interest in the study, management, and rational use of rangelands and related ecosystems. The Society's objectives, as set forth in its Articles of Incorporation, are:
- to properly take care of the basic rangeland resources of soil, plants and water;
- to develop an understanding of range ecosystems and of the principles applicable to the management of range resources;
- to assist all who work with range resources to keep abreast of new findings and techniques in the science and art of range management;
- to improve the effectiveness of range management to obtain from range resources the products and values necessary for man's welfare;
- to create a public appreciation of the economic and social benefits to be obtained from the range environment;
- to promote professional development of its members.
Implicit in these objectives is the Society's responsibility to develop among its members a sense of identity with the profession, to make positive and imaginative contributions to the field of natural resources management, and to provide information and guidance to the general public in this area. As a professional organization, the Society for Range Management can and must serve as the forum for the discussion of ideas, philosophies, and issues which affect natural resources policies. Such forums, with the participation of interested individuals representing a variety of vested interests, will provide alternative viewpoints useful to industry, lawmakers, and the general public.
Article VII of the Society for Range Management bylaws authorizes the establishment of Sections and gives general guidelines for their operation and functions. The purposes for which a Section is established as stated in the bylaws are:
- to bring about, through regularly scheduled meetings, tours or other means, a closer personal acquaintance among members of the Society,
- an increased spirit of cooperation on matters relating to Society objectives,
- the encouragement of members to participate in both Section and Society functions,
- to study and observe local range and range related situations,
- to work with other Sections or with other local organizations on matters of common interest and concern, and
- to confer on Society affairs.
California Section Origin
The California Section of SRM was founded in 1949 and chartered in January of 1950. Our Section, one of 21 in North America, was the sixth to be initiated by the American Society of Range Management. (Wyoming was the first, 1948.)
In June of 1949, Wayne W. Austin (Assistant State Conservationist, USDA/SCS) was asked by the American Society of Range Management to serve as the California Membership Chairman. Fifteen California Area Chairmen were secured to help with the initial membership effort. In December 1949, Dr. Harold H. Biswell was asked to “call a meeting of California members to get a local section organized”. Dr. Biswell drew up a rough draft of a Section constitution and bylaws for a meeting held December 16 on the University of California campus in Berkeley attended by 28 members.
The first officers elected were: Waldo Wood (U.S. Forest Service, San Francisco), President; Wayne Austin (USDA/SCS, Berkeley), Vice President; Jay Bentley (U.S. Forest Service Research, Berkeley), Secretary-Treasurer; and Councilmen Harold Biswell (UC Berkeley), Merton Love (UC Berkeley), and Joseph Snyder (U.S. BLM, San Francisco). A revised constitution and bylaws were adopted.
Subsequent to the meeting, a committee concerned with “Section Objectives and Development” presented proposals by mail for a vote of the membership.
The California Section was approved on January 24, 1950 by the American Society of Range Management. The first Council meeting was held February 10, 1950 and the first regular meeting, attended by 50 people, occurred in Berkeley, March 31 with A. E. Weislander and R. E. Storie discussing the soil-vegetation survey program. The first field meeting was in Humboldt County on May 27, followed by the second in El Dorado County on August 12. The first annual fall meeting of the new California Section was held December 2, 1950 on the UC Berkeley campus followed by a dinner-dance in Orinda. Membership had grown to 128. The need for a Section newsletter was discussed by the Council in December of 1952 and the first edition was produced in April of 1953.