Stewards of the Rangeland educational series:
Quality lesson plans and video content for classrooms with teacher support materials.

Rangelands and herbivory coevolved as part of a natural system. Grazing is a fundamental biologic process and is the basis of the food chain. Grass evolved to be eaten. It is a renewable resource, grows from sunlight and water and needs to be harvested just like a lawn needs to be mowed. Ranchers are resident caretakers of brush, grass and grazers. Did God make a mistake in making these grazing animals?
J. Wayne Burkhardt, Ph.DProfessor Emeritas, Range Management, University of Nevada, Reno

* Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF files. This is a free program available from the Adobe web site. Follow the download directions on the Adobe web site to get your copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.*

Nevada Rangeland Monitoring

Nevada Rangeland Monitoring Handbook 2nd Edition
Authors: Sherman Swanson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (Editor in Chief) Ben Bruce, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Rex Cleary, Society for Range Management
Bill Dragt, Bureau of Land Management
Gary Brackley, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Gene Fults, Natural Resources Conservation Service
James Linebaugh, Nevada State Grazing Boards
Gary McCuin, Nevada Department of Agriculture
Valerie Metscher, Bureau of Land Management
Barry Perryman, University of Nevada College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources
Paul Tueller, Rangeland Consultant
Diane Weaver, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Duane Wilson, Bureau of Land Management
Ranchers' Monitoring Guide

Rangeland monitoring is the orderly repeated collection, analysis, and interpretation of resource information (data). It can be used to make both short- and long-term management decisions. This guide is designed to provide individuals interested in monitoring rangelands with information and processes useful for simple, quick, and efficient monitoring. Use of any of these methods is voluntary.

Wild Horses

Virginia Range Wild Horses Issue Paper

In the Fall of 2006, Elko BLM District issued three Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Plan Final Environmental Assessments (FEA’s), three Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI’s) and Decision Record and Project Approvals. These actions were taken for the Sneekee, Mud and Elburz fires. All of these documents included the following: “The closure will occur for a minimum of two growing seasons or until establishment objectives are met, in order to provide an adequate amount of time to allow the seeded vegetation to establish and plant species not damaged by the wildfire to respond to natural revegetation. The burned area will be reopened to livestock grazing once the establishment objectives in the Fire Closure Agreement/Decision have been met.”

Fire Closure White Paper And Recommendations For Developing Grazing Strategies For The Charleston Complex Fire

Recommendation: Grazing Strategy For Charleston Complex Fire

Shane Deforest
Assistant Field Manager, Renewable Resources Bureau of Land Management
Elko Field Office
3900 E. Idaho Street.
Elko, NV 89801

Dear Shane

In response to your request for input for developing grazing strategies for the Charleston Complex Fire, the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association would make the following suggestions:

Recent BLM Closures

Elburz Fire Environmental Assessment

ELBURZ 1 FIRE (CR3E)
EMERGENCY STABILIZATION AND REHABILITATION PLAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT AND DECISION RECORD AND
PROJECT APPROVAL
BLM/EK/PL-2006/018

Finding of No Significant Impact

Based on the analysis of potential environmental impacts contained in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Elko Field Office, Elburz 1 Fire (CR3E) Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Plan Environmental Assessment BLM/EK/PL-2006/018, I have determined that the proposed action will not have significant impacts on the human environment and that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Sneekee Fire Environmental Assessment

SNEEKEE FIRE (CR55)
EMERGENCY STABILIZATION AND REHABILITATION PLAN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT AND DECISION RECORD AND
PROJECT APPROVAL
BLM/EK/PL-2006/020

Finding of No Significant Impact

Based on the analysis of potential environmental impacts contained in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Elko Field Office, Sneekee Fire (CR55) Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Plan Environmental Assessment BLM/EK/PL-2006/020, I have determined that the proposed action will not have significant impacts on the human environment and that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Mudd Fire Environmental Assessment

United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management
Elko Field Office
Elko, Nevada

MUDD FIRE
EMERGENCY STABILIZATION AND REHABILITATION PLAN FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT AND DECISION RECORD BLM/EK/DNA-2006/015

The Mudd Fire was a human caused fire that started on August 23, 2006 and burned 13,588 acres. The fires burned 7,035 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed public lands, and 6,588 acres of private land by the time it was contained. The Mudd Fire was contained on August 26, 2006 at 1800 hrs and was controlled on August 30, 2006 at 20000 hrs. The fire was located in Elko County, Nevada. The Department of Interior (DOI) ordered a National Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team to assess the damage to BLM lands managed by the Elko Field Office and prepare an Emergency Stabilization Plan for the Mudd Fire, as well as, the East Humboldt Complex and Charleston Complex that burned at approximately the same time. The Field Office would prepare the Rehabilitation Plans. To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the BAER team also prepared the Documentation of Land Use Plan Conformance and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Adequacy (DNA). The damage assessment, plans, DNA, and associated documents are available for inspection upon request to the BLM, Elko Field Office.

Livestock Grazing After Wildland Fire- Related Literature

Bucksnort ``After the Fire`` Noxious Weed Grazing Project

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Technical Resources http://www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/glci/proj04bcksnrt.html

Bucksnort “After the Fire” Noxious Weed Grazing Project

During the summer of 2000, the Bucksnort Wildfire consumed over 15,000 acres of forestland and rangeland in the Spokane Hills, east of Helena, Montana. Field specialists confirmed a prediction of a 300 percent increase in noxious weed infestations following the fire. The deep tap-rooted species, such as leafy spurge and Dalmatian toadflax, were some of the first plants to emerge following the fire and continue to be the aggressors.

Helping drought-stressed rangeland recover from fire
http://www.panhandle.unl.edu/timely_topic_sept06.htm#rangefire

Helping drought-stressed rangeland recover from fire

David Ostdiek Communications Specialist

The wildfires that threatened ranches and communities in northwest Nebraska in late July and early August have been extinguished. But the scorched pasture land left behind will feel the fire’s effects for years, and landowners should adjust accordingly when making management decisions about pastures that were burned, University of Nebraska Lincoln experts say.

Fire and Grazing Effects on Wind Erosion, Soil Water Content, and Soil Temperature

Published online 9 August 2005

Published in J Environ Qual 34:1559-1565 (2005)
DOI: 10.2134/jeq2005.0006
© 2005 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America
677 S. Segoe Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA

TECHNICAL REPORTS Landscape and Watershed Processes

Fire and Grazing Effects on Wind Erosion, Soil Water Content, and Soil Temperature

Measuring Plant Diversity in the Tall Threetip Sagebrush Steppe: Influence of Previous Grazing Management Practices

ABSTRACT / In July 2000, a 490-ha wildfire burned a portion of a long-term grazing study that had been established in 1924 at the US Sheep Experiment Station north of Dubois, Idaho, USA. Earlier vegetation measurements in this tall threetip sagebrush (Artemisia tripartita spp.tripartita) bunch- grass plant community documented significant changes in vegetation due to grazing and the timing of grazing by sheep. A study was initiated in May 2001 using 12 multiscale modi- fied Whittaker plots to determine the consequences of previ- ous grazing practices on postfire vegetation composition. Be- cause there was only one wildfire and it did not burn all of the original plots, the treatments are not replicated in time or space. We reduce the potential effects of psuedoreplication

Effects of Grazing after Fire in Sagebrush Steppe Communities

Research Project: Sheep Grazing-Rangeland Ecology Relationship Location: Dubois, Idaho
Title: Effects of Grazing after Fire in Sagebrush Steppe Communities Authors

Roselle, Lovina – UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO Launchbaugh, Karen – UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO Seefeldt, Steven – steve

Submitted to: Society of Range Management Publication Type: Abstract
Publication Acceptance Date: November 22, 2004 Publication Date: January 10, 2005

Citation: Roselle, L.M., Launchbaugh, K.L., Seefeldt, S.S. 2005. Effects of grazing after fire in sagebrush steppe communities. In: Society for Range Management Proceedings. 58th Annual Society for Range Management Meeting, February 5-11, 2005, Fort Worth, Texas. 2005 CDROM.

Emergency Fire Rehabilitation of BLM Lands in the Great Basin: Revegetation & Monitoring

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF

Ted O. McArthur for the degree of Master of Science in Rangeland Resources presented on February 20, 2004.
Title: Emergency Fire Rehabilitation of BLM Lands in the Great Basin: Revegetation & Monitoring.

Checklist of Considerations for Post-Fire Management

All may appear lost, but with time and rain, pastures burned by recent fires will come back stronger if cattle are not restocked too early. The loss of standing vegetation affects not only the availability of feed for livestock, but also feed and cover, including nesting habitat for wildlife. The fire also removed litter and standing vegetation that protected the soil from water and wind erosion.

Fire Rehabilitation and Restoration

File Code: 1300 Date: September 15, 2000 Route To:

Fire Rehabilitation and Restoration

Subject:
To: All Employees

Cool weather and rain are helping to slow the wildfires that have caused so much disruption this summer. I thank the thousands of Forest Service employees, retirees, and families for sacrifices made to help protect communities and natural resources this summer. You have my personal appreciation and the thanks of the American people.

Effects of Invasive Alien Plants on Fire Regimes

Plant invasions are widely recognized as significant threats to biodiversity conservation worldwide. One way invasions can affect native ecosystems is by changing fuel properties, which can in turn affect fire behavior and, ultimately, alter fire regime characteristics such as frequency, intensity, extent, type, and seasonality of fire. If the regime changes subsequently promote the dominance of the invaders, then an invasive plant–fire regime cycle can be established. As more ecosystem components and interactions are altered, restoration of preinvasion conditions becomes more difficult. Restoration may require managing fuel conditions, fire regimes, native plant communities, and other ecosystem properties in addition to the invaders that caused the changes in the first place. We present a multiphase model describing the interrelationships between plant invaders and fire regimes, provide a system for evaluating the relative effects of invaders and prioritizing them for control, and recommend ways to restore pre- invasion fire regime properties.

Purshia DC. ex Poir. bitterbrush and cliffrose

RosaceaeCRose family

Purshia DC. ex Poir.

bitterbrush and cliffrose
D. Terrance Booth, Susan E. Meyer, and Nancy L. Shaw

Dr. Booth is a rangeland scientist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service=s High Plains Grasslands Research Station, Cheyenne, Wyoming; Dr. Meyer is a research ecologist at the USDA Forest Service=s Rocky Mountain Research Station, Shrub Sciences Laboratory, Provo, Utah; Dr. Shaw is a botanist at the USDA Forest Service=s Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Boise, Idaho.

Livestock Grazing After Wildland Fire- Available Citations

Managing the Impact of Wildfires on Communities and the Environment

On August 8, 2000, President Clinton asked Secretaries Babbitt and Glickman to prepare a report that recommends how best to respond to this year’s severe fires, reduce the impacts of these wildland fires on rural communities, and ensure sufficient firefighting resources in the future.

Length and Timing of Grazing on Postburn Productivity of Two Bunchgrasses in an Idaho Experimental Range, SC Bunting, et al

Plant mortality and productivity in semiarid grasslands may be affected by the length of time grazing is excluded during the postfire regeneration period. The degree of grazing tolerance for the semiarid bunchgrass species, Festuca idahoensis and Agropyron spicatum, exposed to fire, and how the variation in grazing tolerance was affected by the length of time allowed for undisturbed plant regeneration after fire, were central questions addressed in this study. We examined the degree of plant mortality and productivity that resulted from the interaction of fire and grazing. Plants exposed to fire alone, i.e., without subsequent defoliation, exhibited low plant mortality, although culm production was reduced relative to unburned plants. An early-season-defoliation treatment after fire resulted in the plant mortality as high as 50% for Festuca and 70% for Agropyron bunchgrasses. Plant height and the number of vegetative and reproductive culms were also most affected by this defoliation treatment. These detrimental effects were lessened when defoliation was delayed by one growing season after the fire. Although our results suggest that one growing season seems to be enough for both species to recover after the fire, more studies will be necessary to confirm these trends, and induce changes in current grazing management policies.

How Long Should Rangelands Be Rested From Livestock Grazing Following A Fire? A Viewpoint, Kenneth D. Sanders

Some land management agencies have a general policy that rangelands are to be rested from grazing for at least two growing seasons following fire. Many range scientists and range managers, including myself, question this policy. There are three reasons commonly cited for a post-burn rest from grazing: recovery of residual plants, regeneration of desirable plant species and accumulation of litter for soil stability.

National Fire Plan Executive Summary

On August 8, 2000, President Clinton asked Secretaries Babbitt and Glickman to prepare a report that recommends how best to respond to this year’s severe fires, reduce the impacts of these wildland fires on rural communities, and ensure sufficient firefighting resources in the future.

The President also asked for actions that federal agencies, in cooperation with States and local communities, can take to reduce immediate hazards to communities in the wildland-urban interface, and to ensure that fire management planning and firefighter personnel and resources are prepared for extreme fire conditions in the future. This brief represents the summary of the USDA Forest Service portion of the National Fire Plan.

Nevada Sage Grouse Conservation And Habitat Enhancement

Nevada Sage Grouse Conservation and Habitat Enhancement

While the December 2004 decision of the US Fish and Wildlife Service not to list the sage grouse as endangered has all of us breathing a sigh of relief, the NRRC is well aware of the impact a futre endangered species listing would have on Nevada ranchers. The following links provide information on improving and conserving sage grouse habitat.

Nevada Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan (Nevada Department of Wildlife)
http://www.ndow.org/wild/conservation/sg/plan/index.shtm

“Enhancing Sage Grouse Habitat…A Nevada Landowner’s Guide” Nevada Wildlife Federation
http://www.nvwf.org/grouseguide.pdf

AN INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO THE PETITION TO LIST SAGE-GROUSE AS THREATENED OR ENDANGERED UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

Sampling Reporting

Sample Reporting

The following is only a sampling of research and support materials regarding public lands grazing. For more resources, click on other links.

“Water in the West” Range Magazine
http://www.rangemagazine.com/specialreports/spec_water.html
(click to download 40 page report)

“The West 2000” Range Magazine
http://www.rangemagazine.com/specialreports/spec_west2000.html
(click to download 40 page report)

Bureau of Land Management Technical Library for Resource Management
http://www.blm.gov/nstc/library/techref.htm

Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/index.html

University of Nevada survey about public lands reveals unexpected urban-rural consensus

Rural and urban Nevadans agree public lands- which comprise 89 percent of the state- should be managed to balance the needs of rural communities with the environment. But the two groups differ over who should do the managing.
Those are findings from a first-time survey of more than 1,100 state residents, conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension.
The survey, conducted in 1997 with the results now available, found little difference between urban and rural opinions on the acceptability of ranching and livestock grazing (both overwhelmingly support the industry). Most want to be better informed and involved in making decisions about public lands usage. And – while 87 percent of Nevada terrain is federal land – most do not want the federal government deciding usage of public lands.
Rural respondents, however, believe local people are best able to protect and manage public lands and resources, while urban respondents want well-educated, trained experts to make the decisions. Also, twice as many rural people support mining – the state’s No. 2 industry, behind gaming/tourism.
“I was delightfully surprised and reassured that Nevada citizens are closer than they are apart on the concept of multiple use of our public lands,” said Hudson Glimp, Cooperative Extension range specialist, who conducted the survey with Lynn Huntsinger, Ed Smith and three graduate students from the College of Agriculture.
“Special-interest groups often say that a certain thing is what the people want, and so we decided to find out what the people really did want on the public lands,” said Ed Smith, Cooperative Extension natural resource specialist.
“This survey provides the first reliable basis for consensus-building on the management of public lands in our state,” said Bob Hadfield, executive director of Nevada Association of Counties.
“The study will be a useful tool for county commissioners to engage in open discussion with various agencies without being preempted by statements misrepresenting the urban viewpoint,” Hadfield said.
Since little data was available, university professionals designed the survey to find out how people believe decisions should be made about the uses and management of Nevada’s public lands, who should be involved and what kinds of local interests and impacts should be considered.
The university mailed the 16-page questionnaire to registered voters in four urban counties (Carson, Clark, Douglas and Washoe) and the state’s other 13 counties, considered rural. The response rate – 48 percent in urban and 58 percent in the rurals – was surprisingly high, perhaps indicating a high level of interest in the subject.
Following is a sampling of the results:

  • 97 percent of urban people and 98 percent of rurals believe the management of Nevada’s public lands is important to them.
  • Only one in five urban and rural residents is satisfied with management of the lands.
  • Only one-third of urbans and rurals alike believe they’re well-informed on public-land management, and a little more than half of urbans and two-thirds of rurals would like to be more involved in addressing public-land needs.
  • 89 percent of urbans and 87 percent of rurals say a balance should be reached that considers both rural communities and the environment; 94 percent of urbans and 96 percent of rurals say the economic health of rural communities should be considered in land-management decisions.
  • 70 percent of urbans and 81 percent of rurals agree that ranching is part of the state’s history and should be protected.
  • Two-thirds of urbans and three-quarters of rurals approve of livestock grazing on public lands; one-third of urbans and two-thirds of rurals approve of mining. One-third of urban respondents were neutral on mining.
  • 79 percent of urbans and 92 percent of rurals believe proper management can result in compatible use of lands by both livestock and wildlife.
  • 69 percent of urbans and 58 percent of rurals believe wild horses have as much right to graze on public lands as other animals, and they agree the herds should be managed to protect the land.
  • Two-thirds of urbans and only one-quarter of rurals think well-educated, trained experts should make the decisions on public lands; a little more than half of urbans and nearly three-quarters of rurals say local people should protect and manage the lands; about three-quarters of both say the federal government is not the best entity for the job.
  • Two-thirds of urbans and three-quarters of rurals say the federal government should give some public land to the states.

The survey was funded by the university’s Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.