Ecological Collaborations Bring Out the Best in Land Use and Stakeholders

Article ID: 593437

Released: 11-Sep-2012 11:15 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Allen Press Publishing

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  • Volume 34, Issue 4 (August 2012)

Newswise — Rangelands – Conservationists, government agencies, and landowners often have different ideas about the best uses for land and natural resources. When these stakeholders build partnerships that achieve common goals and meet their individual needs, it is something to celebrate. To increase awareness of successful partnerships in land management and to encourage future collaborations, the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Agricultural Research Service, and the Society for Rangeland Management organized a special conference session and journalissue.

The special issue of Rangelands features ecoregional collaborative projects that demonstrate a variety of paths to success. These programs address such issues as wildfire, livestock grazing, invasive species, wildlife habitat, and agriculture.

In a South Dakota project, the Defenders of Wildlife donated materials for 12.5 miles of temporary electric fencing as a nonlethal method of controlling prairie dogs. Forest Service rangers have selected locations and have installed and moved the fencing for 5 years. The fencing keeps cattle on adjacent private land from grazing these areas for a period of time, thus allowing vegetation to establish a barrier zone. The reduction in prairie dog colonization of these vegetation boundary areas has been more successful than in unfenced areas where rodenticide was used. This partnership found a way for prairie dogs and cattle—and their advocates—to live as neighbors.

A Wyoming project has reintroduced native fish species to a watershed and removed nonnative invasive species. To maintain the capacity and integrity of rangelands, another program has focused on protecting pollinators and pollinator habitat. The Mojave Desert Initiative provides regional guidance for fire personnel, attempting to minimize further loss of habitat, restore key areas, and develop strategies to adapt to changing conditions.

Some programs are large scale; one seeks to restore rangelands and native plants to the Idaho Great Basin. Another changed land health assessments in Montana from a grazing permit allotment system to one that views all land allotments as pieces of the entire watershed. Demonstration projects throughout the West have reached out to local communities, promoting the adoption of ecologically based invasive grass management.

In Colorado, a countywide collaboration promoting long-term landscape management among livestock and private landowners and federal, state, and local natural resource management agencies and organizations has lasted 17 years. These successful projects and collaborations pave the way for new programs that can make a difference in America’s rangelands.

Full text of “Agency Accomplishments—Making a Difference on the Ground” and other articles in this special issue of Rangelands, Vol. 34, No. 4, 2012, are available at


About RangelandsRangelands is a full-color publication of the Society for Range Management published six times per year. Each issue of Rangelands features scientific articles, book reviews, and society news. Additionally, readers may find youth, technology, and policy departments. The journal provides a forum for readers to get scientifically correct information in a user friendly, nontechnical format. Rangelands is intended for a wide range of individuals, including educators, students, rangeland owners and managers, researchers, and policy leaders. The journal is available online at To learn more about the society, please visit .

Media Contact:Taylor FultonAllen Press, Inc.800/627-0326 ext.


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