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Symposia & Workshops

16 Feb 2021
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Symposia & Workshops

Strategic Targeted Grazing to Reduce Fine Fuels: Updates on the Idaho and Nevada Demonstration Areas

This session will provide information on an alternative fuels management approach of using livestock to strategically reduce fine fuels and the risk of wildfires. This strategic application of targeted grazing will be addressed in this interactive workshop among land managers, scientists and ranchers involved in targeted grazing demonstration areas in Idaho and Nevada.  Presentations will be made by BLM personnel to provide an overview of this program and to describe the challenges and benefits in implementing targeted grazing programs. Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service will summarize research on the effectiveness of using cattle to reduce fuels. Ranchers involved in these demonstration projects will describe their perspective on implementing the program.  Ability to question speakers and have discussions with workshop participants will be provided.  This symposium will set the stage for a future interactive workshop to engage land managers and ranchers in a more detailed discussion on developing and implementing strategic targeted grazing programs.

Organizer: Mike Pellant



Adaptive Monitoring to Support Adaptive Management   

Adaptive management provides a flexible and iterative framework for identifying and addressing rangeland management concerns. This framework defines and facilitates the crucial processes of learning about the condition of rangelands, understanding how those conditions change in response to management actions, and revising management actions while considering new information and conditions. Rangeland monitoring is a key mechanism for learning about rangelands and supporting land management through time. Over the last several decades, scientists and resource managers have encouraged agencies, community groups, and operators to reevaluate their rangeland monitoring practices and to embrace contemporary ideas of standardization, statistical rigor and inference, and data management. New technologies provide emerging opportunities for gathering, analyzing, and delivering monitoring data to rangeland communities. As a result, there is increasing investment in coordinated national monitoring programs and elevated emphasis on multi-stakeholder monitoring.

This symposium examines the many aspects of contemporary monitoring to support adaptive management. We bring together scientists and managers to take the next step in the ongoing dialogue about the value of current monitoring approaches and contemplating the future of rangeland monitoring. Our goal is to prepare the next cohort of rangeland scientists and natural resource specialists for the future of adaptive management in our nation’s rangelands through the collection, stewardship, and use of monitoring data.

This thought-provoking session will cover a variety of topics, including: (1) lessons from university and professional monitoring courses for teaching monitoring to the next generation; (2) sample design tools to empower spatially balanced, survey designs; (3) strategies for incorporating meaningful qualitative assessments into monitoring protocols; (4) remote sensing products for aiding management decisions; (5) perspectives on leveraging vegetation monitoring data for wildlife habitat modeling and assessments; (6) ways to engage community led monitoring; and (7) examples from successful place-based monitoring and national monitoring programs.

Organizers: David Pilliod and Sarah McCord



Impacts and Solutions to Multiple Use in the Context of Reclamation and Restoration

Multiple use of public lands in the United States for current and future generations is mandated by The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976. America’s public rangelands are currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and state agencies.  These multiple uses include, in part:  recreation, livestock production, energy development, and other cultural and historical resources.  Given the vast amount of both varied resources and stakeholders, management of these lands can be complex and challenging.

Reclamation and restoration of disturbance activities for resource use and extraction is a requirement on public and private lands.  Such disturbance activities include, but are not limited to, energy development, for both renewable and non-renewable resources, as well as fire.  Other activity use provides some measure of disturbance as well but may not be on the scale of energy development and fire. As intersections between resource use and multiple stakeholders on public and private lands increase, the need to identify and focus on projects where partnerships between practitioners and researchers have addressed issues regarding aspects of multiple use is critical to our understanding going forward.

This symposium will bring together two sets of speakers to discuss development issues from a management-science perspective.  The projects relate to public and private lands in Idaho and throughout the northern Rockies.  Talks will focus on what has worked and what hasn’t, similarities and differences between research and management perspectives, and two-way transfers of knowledge between practitioners or managers and researchers.  Presentations will include:

  • Reclamation of Wellsites in Alberta’s Grasslands: Insights from Evolving Regulations and the Potential Value of Monitoring Post-closure
    • Tracy Kupchenko, former Alberta Energy Regulator, and Anne McIntosh, University of Alberta
  • Challenges of Phosphate Mining, including selenium management Zane Davis, Poisonous Plant Research Lab, Logan, UT, and Joe Via, Bayer Crop Sciences, Idaho

Organizer: SRM Reclamation and Restoration Committee



New Frontiers in VGS: VGS 5, VGS Online, and VGS Mobile Demo

VGS is a software application designed for recording and managing ecosystem sampling data. Version 5 of VGS was recently published for distribution and includes new features like custom surveys and two-way syncing. VGS Online was also released and provides users with the option of using an online data repository for storing, managing, and reporting their data using the standard folder structure, as well as spatially from maps. For users interested in collecting data on a mobile device, we will introduce VGS for the Android operating system. This workshop will introduce current users to all of the new features available in VGS 5 and VGS Online and will provide an update on current testing of VGS Mobile.

Organizer: Ashley Hall



Toward A National Database of UAV Imagery/Products for Rangeland Monitoring

A new photogrammetric monitoring technology, Structure from Motion (SfM) using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), has matured and can now complement field-monitoring methods. UAV imagery can alleviate some current limitations in rangeland monitoring: if applied at scale, costs can be reduced compared to labor-intensive field monitoring; larger areas can be sampled to better represent landscapes of interest; georegistering and scaling UAV observations with remote sensing imagery is easier than for field methods; and photographs are self-documenting. Lastly, all-digital workflows will expand the pool of specialists contributing to the solution of rangeland management issues by automating processing and providing value-added tools and products.

To assess the maturity and potential of UAVs for rangeland, three researchers at the forefront of UAV research will describe their experience in 15 minute presentations.

Humberto Perotto, Associate Professor, Landscape Ecology, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at Texas A and M Kingsville, will describe the best practices for the collection of UAV imagery that is well-documented and geo-registered.

Jeffery Gillan, a Remote Sensing Scientist at the University of Arizona, will describe the best practices for automating SfM processing on large imagery datasets to create orthophotos, point clouds, Digital Terrain Models, Canopy Height Models, and Digital Surface Models, and other value-added products.

Jason Karl, Associate Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Harold F. and Ruth M. Heady Endowed Chair of Rangeland Ecology at the University of Idaho, will describe the integration of field and UAV data with remote sensing for interpretation.

After the presentations, there will be a twenty-minute session of questions by two respondents. Marc Horney, Associate Professor of Rangeland Resource Management at Cal Poly will address repurposing UAV data to address multiple goals. Matt Reeves, Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service, will address the requirements to re-use the locally collected UAV data in regional remote sensing analyses. The remainder of the session, moderated by Philip Heilman of the Southwest Watershed Research Center, will be audience questions and discussion about how the rangeland remote sensing community can build on the proposed best practices to standardize protocols and apply UAV and SfM more regularly as operational monitoring tools.

Organizer: Philip Heilman and the SRM Geospatial Science and Technology Committee



Managing Wildlife on The Range – Who Is At The Table?

A complex suite of natural resource professionals is necessary to effectively manage the high diversity of wildlife found across our rangelands. These professionals include local producers, government agencies, research and academia, consulting, non-governmental organizations, and more. From policy to implementation, each role is critical to the management and conservation of rangeland wildlife, and each individual has a valued seat at the table. This session will showcase the network of disciplines essential for comprehensive decision-making surrounding rangeland wildlife. Invited speakers will share their own perspective of including wildlife in their resource management, and a panel discussion will follow. This session is sponsored by the SRM Wildlife Habitat Committee.

Organizers: Kyle Schumacher and Russell Burton