A Range Management Curriculum and Participatory Planning Project for the Tohono O'odham Nation

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2002: $99,263.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Maria Fernandez-Gimenez
Colorado State University

Annual Reports


  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing - continuous, free-range, grazing - multispecies, range improvement, grazing - rotational, watering systems
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation, social capital, social networks, sustainability measures


    The unique social, cultural, and historical circumstances of livestock grazing on the Tohono O’odham Nation require that concepts from Rangeland Science be tailored to the specific biophysical and cultural landscapes on the Tohono O’odham Nation. We believe that resource management is most effective when local resource users are directly involved in management planning and implementation. To advance our goal of better stewardship using a culturally specific, community-based approach, we propose a project combining the creation of educational opportunities through the development and implementation of a rangeland curriculum with the application of concepts from rangeland science through a participatory planning process.

    Project objectives:

    Objective 1: To develop and implement a Tohono O’odham range management curriculum that incorporates both science and traditional knowledge, and which reflects the specific social, cultural, political, economic and environmental contexts of livestock husbandry and range management on the Tohono O’odham Nation. This will be done using a collaborative approach involving O’odham livestock owners, natural resource professionals, educators and community members.

    Objective 2: To empower livestock producers and other community members to develop and implement range management plans for their communities by expanding the existing participatory rangeland planning pilot project to additional districts.

    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.