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Society for Range Management Conference
February 15, 2021 @ 8:00 am - February 18, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
(Including a *free* Presentation on Habitat Opportunities on Working Lands focused on Conservation Grazing on Prairies in South Puget Sound; see below)
Connect and Connect with fellow range managers and participate in world-class sessions and trainings!
The SRM Annual Meeting is the leading event for the most advanced trainings, cutting edge research and innovative management techniques on rangelands. Bringing together thousands of people, from around the globe, this meeting hosts the brightest minds in rangeland management. It also provides an excellent opportunity to network, and exchange ideas. We’ll be hosting several live events for participants to connect.
NEW FRONTIERS VIRTUAL MEETING:
Connect and Connect with fellow range managers and participate and participate in world-class sessions and trainings! Join us:
30 Interactive Sessions/Trainings + 3 Plenary Topics + LIVE Social Events = ONE AMAZING, WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION EXPERIENCE
From Restoration of Invasive Species to Managing Wildlife on the Range to Outcome-Based Grazing, there is a full line-up of both live and pre-recorded sessions. The Plenary Session is also likely to turn heads with high profiles speakers on the hot topics of Climate Change on Rangelands, Rangeland Wildfire, and Conservation Valuation & Conservation Ranching.
Wednesday Symposium (1:30pm to 3:30pm) on Habitat Opportunities on Working Lands focused on Conservation Grazing on Prairies in South Puget Sound:
Join via this free Zoom link: https://uidaho.zoom.us/j/83658583358, Meeting ID: 836 5858 3358, One tap mobile: +13462487799,,83658583358# US (Houston), +16699006833,,83658583358# US (San Jose). Dial by your location +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma). NOTE: YOU HAVE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE TO ATTEND ALL OF THE OTHER AMAZING WORKSHOPS AND SYMPOSIA AND OTHER NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES.
Title: Grazing for Conservation: Ecological Opportunity for Ranchers at the Urban-Rural Frontier
In many parts of Thurston Country, threatened rangeland ecosystems and species persist within a patchwork of preserves, working lands, and rural low-density residential sprawl. These lands often have high ecological value, as the most productive landscapes were homesteaded first. With rangeland habitats near urban areas reduced dramatically from historic ranges and farm families struggling to remain economically viable, farmer-conservationist-researcher collaborations represent promising opportunities to protect species and support local farming communities.
This symposium will explore the aesthetic, cultural, economic, and biological values of grazing for conservation, from the vantage point of various case studies. We will present on efforts to co-manage wildlife habitat and grazing systems. A common aim of these efforts is to document how working lands contribute to species protection while sustaining agricultural values.
We will begin with Jake Yancey, a Southwest Washington rancher who has combined grass-based livestock operations with conservation work. Jake uses a combination of mowing, cross fencing and grazing to eliminate invasive species, enhance forage production, and create specific habitat niches, such as low grazed, seasonally inundated riparian pastures utilized by the endangered Oregon spotted frog. Next, Tip Hudson, a Washington State University Extension rangelands specialist will present on shrub-steppe habitat enhancement from 2007-2020 through grazing in a mixed-ownership landscape managed collaboratively with a wind utility. Coordinated grazing planning and adaptive management have led to increased plant species diversity, decreased bare ground, and increased cover. Sarah Hamman, a restoration ecologist with the Ecostudies Institute, and Stephen Bramwell, an agriculture extension agent with Washington State University, will present research from three ranches evaluating prairie species diversity and richness, with the aim of documenting habitat enhancement potential on grazed land. Through rotational grazing, spring deferment, and native seeding (termed ‘conservation grazing practices’, the native species richness on grazed farms increased with no detrimental impacts on forage, and improved soil quality parameters such as lower daily average high soil temperatures at the height of summer.
Additionally, federally threatened Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama) occupancy was nearly equivalent between ranches and prairie preserves. Kate Painter, a University of Idaho agricultural economist, will focus on the costs and tradeoffs for restoring habitat on different types of ungrazed conservation parcels, including Scotch Broom infested land, abandoned cropland and abandoned rangeland, compared to supporting critical habitat on working lands.