The management of rangelands involves both art and science. Scientific knowledge is combined with practical local experience to find solutions to specific management problems. This section will explain how science can be used for specific rangeland issues including grazing management, discuss methods of analysis, and assess the impact management decisions can have on social and economic systems when disparate elements are brought together.
Land managers discussing rangeland management plan. Photo courtesy of Rachel Frost.
Grazing Management Guidelines on Rangelands
- Domestic livestock grazing, especially by cattle, sheep, and horses, is one of the most prevalent uses of rangeland. Management for grazing animals applies a variety of factors including stocking rate, timing, and frequency along with various facilitating practices.
- For more information, see Rangeland Grazing Management Guidelines.
Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment
- Rangelands are monitored for many different reasons. The first assessment, or site inventory, provides the baseline data needed to assess the site conditions and determine available forage resources. Future site visits and data collection provide information about the trend or changes over time and help make decisions based on management objectives. Monitoring is accomplished by establishing a study site that can be revisited periodically to quantify ecological changes over time. Without continued monitoring, there is no way to determine whether the health and productivity of the rangeland is improving, staying the same, or declining.
- For more information, see Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment.
Rangeland Economics and Rural Communities
- This topic examines the impact rangeland management has on people and the impact people have on rangelands. Economics is a social science that assists in allocating scarce resources among competing uses. Scarce resources often include land, labor, capital, and management. Sociology is another social science that can to help understand human behavior as it relates to rangelands. In the following section, we will examine how these two social sciences can provide useful information to managers, users, and policymakers as they deal with rangelands.
- For more information, see Rangeland Economics and Rural Communities.
Planning for Rangeland Stewardship
- Rangeland planning is a process that starts with setting goals and monitoring to see if goals are accomplished. Steps along the way include getting all the necessary players involved in the process.
- For more information, see Planning for Rangeland Stewardship.