Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

A Climate-based Rangeland Management Tool: encouraging manager input to increase adoption success

Class

Article

Department

Environment and Society

Faculty Mentor

Mark Brunson

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Rangeland managers in the Great Basin face many difficulties in restoring rangelands after species invasions and fire. Economic pressures restrict the amount of preventive restoration that is possible in a triage effort to restore lands already critically damaged by invasive species and fire. Societal pressures determine what restoration practices are accepted by the public and, to an extent, the areas restoration efforts target. Institutional pressures can enforce time restraints that limit the extent of restoration and follow up management. Ecological characteristics of the land can also challenge restoration efforts when those characteristics work against the desired condition restoration is working toward. The four above challenges (economic, societal, institutional, and ecological) are not always independent of each other and sometimes can form a complex web of factors that hinder rangeland restoration. These challenges are compounded by the unpredictability of weather. With accurate predictions of the weather six to nine months out, restoration efforts could align with weather conditions and have higher success levels. A team of scientists is trying to make this a reality by designing and marketing a new online rangeland management tool that uses short-term climate projections to inform restoration and post-fire rehabilitation decisions. However, in order for this tool to be successful, rangeland managers need to be an active part of its creation. Focus groups are being conducted in which rangeland managers are asked a variety of questions that determine the factors influencing their management decisions and opportunities to make the tool more reliable and usable. The information from these focus groups will be analyzed and integrated into the creation of this tool; thereby increasing the odds that rangeland managers will trust the tool with future restoration efforts.

Start Date

4-9-2015 9:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

A Climate-based Rangeland Management Tool: encouraging manager input to increase adoption success

Rangeland managers in the Great Basin face many difficulties in restoring rangelands after species invasions and fire. Economic pressures restrict the amount of preventive restoration that is possible in a triage effort to restore lands already critically damaged by invasive species and fire. Societal pressures determine what restoration practices are accepted by the public and, to an extent, the areas restoration efforts target. Institutional pressures can enforce time restraints that limit the extent of restoration and follow up management. Ecological characteristics of the land can also challenge restoration efforts when those characteristics work against the desired condition restoration is working toward. The four above challenges (economic, societal, institutional, and ecological) are not always independent of each other and sometimes can form a complex web of factors that hinder rangeland restoration. These challenges are compounded by the unpredictability of weather. With accurate predictions of the weather six to nine months out, restoration efforts could align with weather conditions and have higher success levels. A team of scientists is trying to make this a reality by designing and marketing a new online rangeland management tool that uses short-term climate projections to inform restoration and post-fire rehabilitation decisions. However, in order for this tool to be successful, rangeland managers need to be an active part of its creation. Focus groups are being conducted in which rangeland managers are asked a variety of questions that determine the factors influencing their management decisions and opportunities to make the tool more reliable and usable. The information from these focus groups will be analyzed and integrated into the creation of this tool; thereby increasing the odds that rangeland managers will trust the tool with future restoration efforts.