Building Knowledge of Sustainable Rangeland Management Using Information Technology

Project Overview

EW04-014
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $91,847.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Karen Launchbaugh
University of Idaho

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: other, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants, trees
  • Animals: bovine, goats, sheep, fish

Practices

  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, free-range, grazing - multispecies, pasture renovation, range improvement, grazing - rotational, watering systems, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: forestry
  • Education and Training: extension, focus group, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation, biodiversity, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, soil stabilization, wetlands, wildlife
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, biological control, botanical pesticides, cultural control, precision herbicide use, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, social networks, sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    Information for Sustainable Range Managment @ http://rangelandswest.org

    Rangelands are vast landscapes that cover more than half of western North America. The Western Rangelands Partnership with the support of SARE has developed and maintain an Internet gateway (http://rangelandswest.org) to ecological and agricultural information about these extensive and diverse lands. The modern challenges of rangeland management must be met with broad thinking and new, sustainable practices to maintain and restore rangelands and the human communities that rely on them. Working together, rangeland and information specialists from western states provide quality information, resources and tools to improve management and ensure sustainability of rangelands at - http://rangelandswest.org.

    Project objectives:

    Internet Information for Sustainable Rangeland Management

    The Western Rangelands Partnership engaged more than 40 rangeland professionals and information specialists to accomplish our goal of creating easily accessible and reliable information for sustainable rangeland management. Our project is aimed at natural resource advisors and professionals to: 1) expand their understanding of sustainable rangeland management approaches; 2) improve their information technology skills; and 3) create reliable sustainable rangeland management information and make it readily accessible through the RangelandsWest Internet gateway.
    In previous years of this project we conducted a workshop to improve web-skills of participants and assess the demands, resources, and time available to natural resource and agricultural advisors to access Internet-based information. We determined that these advisors generally have limited but sufficient skill to access information on the Internet and that readily available information would facilitate their work if it is reliable and of high quality.

    During our workshop, survey, and discussions we have determined that there is limited general knowledge about concepts and tools to support sustainable rangeland management. We have also determined that there is no single reliable Internet site to gain information on rangelands.

    In 2006 and 2007, we focused on redesigning our current website to make it easier to find information for users and easier to update information for the Western Rangeland Partners who contribute to the site. It is vitally important to create an Internet site that can be readily accessed by both users and contributors. Our interactions with users through workshops and surveys allowed us to effectively refocus our efforts and create a more useable and reliable information portal.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.