Locations: SCC is Spokane Convention Center; RLH is Red Lion Hotel at the Park; DTH is the DoubleTree by Hilton. Room number follows.
Available on-site at SCC Theater, or offered off-site by webinar.
Organizer: Tom Platt, Washington State University
- Keeping the Family Ranch in the Family
- Crooked Calf Syndrome in the Channeled Scablands and Beyond
- Sage Grouse: could this be the Ranchers’ “Spotted Owl”?
Ranch ownership and succession planning, spiced with tips on communication and multi-generational ranching, will be presented by Dr. Ron Hanson, U. of Nebraska-Lincoln. His humorous, thought provoking, and instructive presentations are sought by farm groups throughout rural America.
Crooked calf syndrome, induced by lupine, has plagued ranchers over 50 years, with serious outbreaks about once a decade. Dr. Clive Gay, WSU (retired) will discuss year-to-year and species variations in lupine toxicity. Rancher Roy Clinesmith will describe outbreaks and how he attempts to avoid them. Dr. Kip Panter, USDA Poisonous Plant Research Lab. in Utah, will bring research on lupine toxins and how they work, animal behavior and taste preferences, and management strategies.
The Sage Grouse issue is complex. Mike Schroeder, Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife will describe the biological and ecological needs of sage grouse. Legal aspects of the Endangered Species Act will be explained by Jessica Ferrel, environmental attorney with Marten Law, Seattle. The NRCS Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) will be explained by SGI coordinator Tim Griffiths, Bozeman, and SGI science advisor Dr. David Naugle, U. of Montana, Missoula.
Organizer: Jeff Jones and Eva Strand, National Interagency Fuels, Fire, and Vegetation Technology Team
- Introduce and demonstrate WFAT, a new spatial analysis tool which produces fire behavior and first order fire effects outputs across the landscape, using engines from FlamMap and First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM).
- WFAT, in a variety of scenarios, can be used by managers and scientists in fire, fuels and vegetation management. Learn to use WFAT to locate potential fuel treatment units, develop prescriptions, and evaluate effect of proposed treatment on potential fire behavior. WFAT saves time and effort of converting data between multiple formats and gives options of using downloadable LANDFIRE layers as input into GIS layers. Lectures and demonstrations will be followed by hands-on time for participants to model in GIS, acquire data for a study area and set up parameters for a variety of scenarios. You are invited to bring your own laptop with ArcGIS loaded if you wish to run WFAT on your own computer. Software, tutorials and data examples will be provided.
Organizer: Brenda Smith, USDA-ARS
- Highlight developments in applying Ecologically Based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) for control and management of invasive annual grasses. EBIPM is poised for more effective management of invasive annual grasses on western rangelands. Learn how to apply EBIPM scientific findings to on-the-ground management of serious and widespread annual grass species.
Organizer: Dana Larsen, USDA – NRCS
- Provide required training and assistance in the registration process to become a certified NRCS Technical Service Provider. An agreement between SRM and NRCS allows TSP candidates who are SRM members to receive basic certification training. Workshop will include instruction for registration process, conservation planning training, TSP orientation, and Grazing Management and Fish and Wildlife Management Conservation Activity Plans. Completing this workshop, candidate applications are ready for certification review with NRCS. Prior to the session, interested participants must obtain an eAuth Level 2 account by visiting the NRCS booth at the trade show.
Organizer: Scott Jensen, USDA Forest Service
- Examine the strategies and equipment to successfully establish sagebrush on degraded rangelands. Following discussions of sagebrush biology pertinent to successful reseeding efforts, restoration practitioners will offer a variety of case studies.
Native American Range Initiative:
Recognizing the numerous changes that have occurred and continue in the management and use of Native American rangelands, the Society developed the Native American Range Initiative in 2011 at the 64th SRM Annual Meeting in Billings, MT. For the 65th Annual Meeting in Spokane, two days will be dedicated to the management of rangelands on tribal lands and the Native American Range Initiative. Along with success stories in tribal range management, we will present the summarized results that identified the “broken pieces” during last year’s session. Problems will be sorted and organized using a tiered design to identify larger problems that might actually be comprised of smaller sub-sets of problems. Action items to solve these specific problems will be developed by groups to determine which ones will be the most effective toward sustainable rangelands on tribal lands. The following two sessions address Initiative discussions and are offered for people who live or work on Tribal lands.
Organizers: Rebecca S. Toupal and Dave Kreft, USDA – NRCS
- Highlight success stories on tribal lands in the Northwest. Presenters will provide 5-10 minute presentations, including posters, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Immediately after the session, there will be a luncheon and a Native American Craft Fair at the same location.
Organizers: Robert Compton and James McCuen, Colville Confederated Tribes
- Provide interaction among the tribes to identify what does and does not work, and work to common solutions. One half day will present PNW local issues, and one half day will be breakout sessions to identify problems and solutions.
Organizer: Michael Gregg, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Update range professionals on the status and current conservation efforts for Burrowing Owls. Burrowing owls are endangered in Canada, and are a species of special concern in the U.S., particularly in the northern portion of their range. Review current conservation efforts, and new research on migration and wintering locations.
Organizer: Louisa Evers, Bureau of Land Management
- Provide information concerning fire regimes and vegetation treatments intended to alter potential wildfire effects in dry forests, juniper woodlands, and sagebrush steppe. Focus will be on community types of the inland PNW, but other areas may be represented.
Organizer: Jim O’Rourke, SRM International Affairs Committee
- Thirteen presentations by Mongolian scientists and practioners will provide an overview and specifics of rangeland research and management in Mongolia.
Organizer: Matthew Pearce, University of Oklahoma
- In the spirit of the theme for 2012, participants will look beyond their particular locales to acknowledge the legacy of range management of which they are a product, and to which they are contributing.
- Provide perspective to a resource that composes an essential part of western identity from which many people make a living, many people enjoy as open space, and a resource upon which watershed quality and wildlife depend. Environmental historians, geographers and range management specialists will provide historical perspectives and current issues confronting range science and ranching in the American West. Legislation, historic examples, the development of range science and suggestions for its application in the future will be included. There will be time for audience participation, bridging a gap between land management specialists and scholars. Everyone dedicated to or interested in conserving rangelands is encouraged to participate.
Organizer: Philip Cooley, BLM National Training Center
- Provide information to help all federal employees in the natural resource fields communicate more effectively with supervisors, co-workers and external customers, with the focus on BLM resource specialists.
- Pre-register through DOI Learn. BLM participants will receive training credits for completing the course Topics: verbal and written communication with internal and external customers, including what livestock operators who graze on public lands expect when communicating with BLM employees.
Organizer: Michael Gregg, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Cutting-edge research on potential biocontrol agents for cheatgrass and noxious weeds plus information on biocontrol agents in current use. In many areas, innovative techniques for weed control are needed to improve rangeland condition. Biocontrol agents have potential to control cheatgrass, medusahead, and other exotic grasses and noxious weeds. If these agents can be scaled up to a commercial level, the potential to restore rangelands will dramatically increase. This is new research for an international SRM Meeting.
Organizer: Stephen W. Barrett, National Interagency Fuels, Fire, and Vegetation Technology Team
- Introduce concepts, methods, and applications of the Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) Ecological Assessment System.
- Field and GIS users can consistently assess FRCC for fire management plans and related planning efforts. Since the 1990’s, FRCC assessments have been applied in many facets of natural resource planning. The process has evolved to characterize landscapes, watersheds, and project areas to the stand scale. Current applications of FRCC data include project design, risk assessments, treatment prioritization, fire use decisions, and evaluation of ecosystem sustainability. Through lectures, demonstrations, discussion, and hands-on exercise, learn about FRCC assessments and how to pursue FRCC certification.
Organizers: Ken Mills and Tip Hudson, Washington CRM Task Group
- Demonstrate and discuss the benefits and challenges of working with multiple stakeholders and partners to improve rangeland management. Increasingly, rangeland decisions are being made by groups of stakeholders using a variety of processes to manage public land grazing allotments, an entire state or an ecosystem. Case studies will feature a variety of collaborative efforts and will highlight lessons learned from a variety of perspectives. Discuss benefits and challenges of working together to improve management and resolve thorny issues.
Organizers: Jamin Johanson, Sarah Quistberg, Jacob Owens, USDA-NRCS
- Provide examples of both successful STM development using a variety of data sources, and practical management applications of ESDs and STMs. Offer training and tools necessary for accurate and accelerated ESD development.
- Facilitate communication among professionals involved in ESD and STM development, and increase the accuracy and efficiency of ESDs by sharing ideas and building relationships.
Organizers: Pat L. Shaver and Homer Sanchez, USDA-Natural Resources
- Beginning ESD workshop targeting professionals with three to ten years experience, whose job responsibilities include identifying and using ESD to make management alternatives and/or decisions. The 4-session workshop will include basic concepts of ecological sites and identifying sites; what are ESDs and how are they developed; and using ESD as a decision-making tool, as a standard to evaluate status/success, and as a risk assessment tool.
Organizer: Jeff Goodwin, NRCS
- Provide insight and technical information regarding riparian grazing management from a rancher perspective. The forum will highlight successful ranchers who practice progressive and ecologically sound riparian grazing management practices in their day-to-day operations. The forum will highlight the conservation benefits of not only riparian systems and their ecological function but also how cattle can be utilized as an effective, natural resource management tool. The forum will discuss the value of grazing management in riparian systems and the benefit provided by the proper use of sound grazing principles. Presentations at the forum will be by ranchers from the Pacific Northwest who have a history of riparian grazing management success and have learned lessons along the way.
Organizers: SRM Rangeland Invasive Species Committee and Rangeland Assessment & Monitoring Committee
- Initiate conversation about developing a national EDRR framework to address the lack of invasive plant distribution data, specifically in the West. Prevention, early detection, and expedient control of new invasive plant populations are crucial to a high-leverage strategy in a landscape-scale invasive weed management program. Managers may be unable to prioritize or develop prevention plans because distribution information is not broadly available. Inconsistency among programs inhibits efficient data sharing across regions. Questions to be addressed: 1) Is it feasible to produce a nation-wide EDRR framework that is modular enough to be locally meaningful? 2) What are primary limitations to achieving such a program? 3) What assumptions may limit our potential effectiveness; and 4) What efforts are underway and can they apply to rangelands?
Organizer: Rebecca Brown, Eastern Washington University
- Provide land managers with a complete toolbox for invasive species management, native species maintenance and restoration in rangelands. How do you choose the best technique or combination of techniques? Presentations will focus on two areas: 1) disturbance management, and 2) active control of invasive and native species. Group discussion will compare and contrast the different approaches.
Organizer: Carol Blocksome, Kansas State University
- Solicit input to develop a draft of the key elements of an SRM policy position on Rangeland Energy. Presentations will discuss impacts of energy development on, under, and above rangelands and mitigation strategies for reducing the incidence and severity of impacts. Participants will offer input to determine key elements of SRM position statement on rangeland energy. Key elements will be forwarded to the Policy and Public Affairs Committee.
Organizer: SageSTEP, Mark Brunson, Utah State University
- Improve understanding of how ecological concepts of thresholds and resilience can be applied to the management of sagebrush rangelands in an era of accelerating global change. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) is a comprehensive, integrated study evaluating the effects of management treatments designed to restore sagebrush communities of the Great Basin and surrounding areas. SageSTEP is ideal for testing hypotheses from state-and-transition and resilience theory; it is long-term, experimental, multi-site, and multivariate. Treatments are applied across condition gradients, allowing for potential identification of biotic thresholds. Research has sought to identify conditions under which sagebrush steppe ecological communities recover on their own following treatment, versus those crossing ecological thresholds that will need expensive active restoration.
Organizers: Eva Strand (University of Idaho) and Dale Bartos (US Forest Service)
- Present the latest information needed to understand the challenges and opportunities currently facing aspen (Populus tremuloides) conservation and management in North America. Aspen forests and woodlands are dynamic, changing in response to succession, disturbance, climate and management. For several decades, aspen have been replaced by conifer species, most likely due to lack of fire. Since 2004, sudden aspen decline has become a concern in western US and Canada. In the southern Rocky Mountains, until 2008, aspen mortality was rapid, large scale and associated with pathogens and insects. Since 2008, affected areas have not increased, but questions have been raised. We welcome presentations relating to aspen ecology and management including successional development, disturbance interactions (fire, pathogens, herbivory, etc.), landscape scale change detection, conservation strategies, genetics, ecophysiology, climate change, and wildlife habitat.
Organizers: Rachel Frost (Montana State Univ.), John Walker (Texas A&M Univ.), Karen Launchbaugh (Univ. of Idaho), SRM Targeted Grazing
- Provide guidance, instruction and documentation to empower public land managers to use targeted grazing on public lands. Agency employees and contract graziers will provide real-life successful examples of using targeted grazing as a vegetation management tool (treatment) on public lands. Agency employees, from different agencies, will outline how they handled the permit process, attained funding, and got public buy-in. Graziers will discuss the documentation needed when dealing with government agencies, contract timelines, and special considerations when operating on public lands. Actual examples of NEPA documents and contracts, and scientific sources to aid in documentation will be presented. Questions are welcomed, and participants are encouraged to bring specific potential projects for the instructors to review.
Organizer: Erica Freese, University of Nevada, Reno
- Present current research, in a neutral and unbiased forum, on free roaming, wild, and feral horse ecology, including horse evolution and behavior, horse and wildlife interactions, impacts on vegetation, diet selection, population control, and habitat use and movement patterns.
- This will be valuable for all rangeland professionals tasked with managing rangelands and the animals they support. In the United States, where the horses are federally protected, the BLM estimates over 38,000 horses and burros are roaming on BLM lands. Appropriate management levels are 26,582. Populations are estimated to double every four years. BLM states that, “the ecosystems of public rangelands are not able to withstand the impacts from overpopulated herds which include soil erosion, sedimentation of streams, and damage to wildlife habitat. These numbers do not include horses on state-owned or Native American lands, nor the domestic horses being released into the “wild” due to the current economic recession. Canadian feral horse populations, mostly concentrated in British Columbia and Alberta, have been increasing since the early 1900s. Though not protected by law, the management of the horses and their habitat is a sensitive and 28 SRM 65th Annual Meeting Spokane, Washington important issue. Australia has the largest population of feral horses (brumbies) in the world, estimated at over 400,000, increasing annually at about 20%. The brumbies have cultural and potential economic value, making their management a complex issue.
Organizers: Chris Call (Utah State University), Laurie Abbott (New Mexico State University), and Karen Hickman, (Oklahoma State University)
- Highlight innovative methods for teaching rangeland ecology and management in a variety of learning settings.
- Begin dialogue on innovative teaching methods within the profession. Audiences vary from 1) university students and faculty; 2) government agency resource managers; 3) K-12 students and teachers; and 4) public citizens in a variety of environments. The session will be divided into two parts. The first will focus on effective delivery of university curricula to future rangeland managers and scientists. The second will focus on maintaining and improving professional competence of current rangeland managers and scientists, and improving awareness of rangeland ecology and management among the general public. Discussion periods will be open for comments and ideas.
Organizers: Merrita Fraker-Marble (University of Wyoming), Rachel Frost (Montana State University), Gary McGuin, (University of Nevada Extension)
- Hands-on training for the latest web tools and outreach materials available to rangeland educators and scientists. Two, two-hour sessions, each including six distinct online resources followed by 45 minutes to try out the tools. These are the latest web tools and resources available. A few computers will be available, but you are encouraged to bring a portable computer or internet ready device. Participants will be guided through the web tools, including eXtension Rangelands, RSIS, Global Rangelands/Rangelands West, and reusable teaching/learning objects. The 4-hour workshop will be set up to “come-and-go”, with each web-tool highlighted once every two hours, allowing for flexible attendance and increased participation. Step-by-step instructions, including personalizing each site for your specific needs will be presented. Content and practical services available on each site will be highlighted. Examples of materials contained in the O&C database and others will be set up for viewing. Hand-outs for each web tool will be available.
Organizer: Leslie Cahill, American Seed Trade Association
- Showcase the seed industry’s commitment to providing quality seed to SRM and all customers. Introduce seed industry procedures for producing and distributing seed for reclamation, restoration, and rehabilitation. There will be presentations, discussion and question and answer interactions.
Organizer: David D. Briske (Texas A&M Univ.), Wayne Polley (USDA-ARS), and Jack A. Morgan (USDA-ARS)
- Provide a clear, concise summary of the vast climate change literature that is of direct relevance to rangelands to inform management and policy decisions and guide future research programs. Specific objectives are to: 1) present evidence for recent and projected climatic change, 2) outline potential ecological consequences, and 3) identify probable mitigation and adaptation strategies.