Disseminating Research-based Information to Improve Great Basin Rangelands

2007 Annual Report for EW06-018

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $21,605.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:
Summer Olsen
Utah State University
Mark Brunson
Utah State University

Disseminating Research-based Information to Improve Great Basin Rangelands


The purpose of this project is to produce a DVD and accompanying booklet that will provide private landowners with information developed as a result of research conducted by the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP). The research will identify ways to maintain or improve sagebrush rangelands in the Great Basin while maintaining a forage base for domestic livestock. The content of the outreach materials will focus on implementation and short-term outcomes of land management treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical thinning of shrubs and trees, and herbicide application). Work is ongoing, with distribution of materials expected to occur in fall 2008.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The objective of this project is to disseminate research-based information to agricultural professionals (extension agents and NRCS, Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management personnel) so that they can make management decisions and assist livestock producers in maintaining or improving forage for domestic livestock on Great Basin rangelands with reduced uncertainty and risk. The focus of this project is the production and delivery of a DVD that will allow the audience to view implementation and short-term outcomes of land management treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical thinning, and herbicide application). To date this objective has not been met, as production of the DVD has not yet been completed.


To date, 11 filming sessions have taken place in a variety of locations including SageSTEP field sites in Utah and Nevada, and on the USU campus. Additional footage has been collected from various individuals and organizations in Utah including the Bureau of Land Management, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, KBYU, and USU Extension. All video footage has been transferred to time-coded DVDs. A detailed script was written and clips have been selected to accompany narration and interviews. A draft version of the DVD feature was produced in November 2007 for review at an annual meeting of the SageSTEP research team.

Review of the draft feature prompted the need for an additional filming session, which took place in February 2008. Other tasks completed during this time include music selection; creation of digital images for DVD menus, booklet and cover; writing scripts and selecting footage for bonus features; and putting together a mailing list. A second draft of the feature was completed on March 14, 2008. This draft is currently being reviewed and fine-tuned.

When editing on the feature is completed, work on the bonus tracks will begin. All editing is scheduled to be completed by summer 2008. Then, DVD authoring will take place in which the digital files will be assembled into a final product that can be sent out for duplication. The booklet that will accompany the disc will then be written to complement the video content. Upon completing, the complete package will be sent out for duplication and the final product will be distributed.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The outreach plan submitted to the USDA/USDI Joint Fire Science Program for the SageSTEP project includes conducting periodic workshops to transfer current information and results to agency and university personnel and other interested stakeholders and a national conference to share research results. The DVD produced by this project will be used during these meetings. In order to reach agricultural professionals who do not attend these meetings, the DVD will be distributed to state and district agency offices and extension offices. The DVD will also be marketed on the SageSTEP website, during professional meeting presentations, on poster displays, and in periodic newsletters in an effort to reach additional interested professionals.

Short-term: The DVD will increase knowledge and awareness of ways to maintain or improve Great Basin rangelands among agency personnel and other agricultural professionals. This project will reduce risk and uncertainty in choosing land management treatments for Great Basin rangelands.

Medium-term: This project will increase the ability for the target audience to provide livestock producers with information to improve Great Basin rangelands. The target audience will have better skills to work with livestock producers to implement management treatments to maintain or improve the forage base for livestock while improving overall ecosystem health.

Long-term: The target audience will share information with livestock producers and develop plans to improve Great Basin rangelands.