Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Discuss the principles of rangeland management.
2. Differentiate among the major rangeland types.
3. Recognize the basic morphology and physiology of rangelands.
4. Analyze basic ecological factors affecting rangelands.
5. Apply concepts of range plant physiology to range management.
6. Discuss the principles and options for wildlife management and
utilization on rangelands.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in range inventory and assessment methods.
8. Develop grazing management plans.
9. Determine options for managing and improving California's rangelands.
I. Introduction, definition of rangelands, products and uses
A. Importance of rangeland worldwide
B. Importance of rangelands to humans
C. Environmental importance
D. Rangeland management issues
II. Rangeland Physical Characteristics
E. Climate Types
H. Influence of Physical Characteristics upon Range Animals
III. Rangeland Types
A. Major Types
2. Desert shrublands
3. Savanna woodlands
B. U.S. types
1. Tallgrass prairie
2. Southern mixed prairie
3. Northern mixed prairie
4. Shortgrass prairie
5. California annual grassland
6. Palouse prairie
7. Hot desert
8. Cold desert
9. Pinion-Juniper woodland
10. Mountain browse
11. Western coniferous forest
12. Southern pine forest
13. Eastern deciduous forest
14. Oak woodland
15. Alpine tundra
IV. Range Ecology
A. Rangeland ecosystem components and functions
B. Succession and climax
E. Plant succession
Lab: Rangeland plant sample collection and identification
V. Range Plant Physiology
A. Basic concepts
B. Uses of products of photosynthesis
C. Food cycle and growth
D. Factors regulated by range managers
E. Carbohydrate reserves
F. Plant morphology and growth
G. Resistance to grazing
H. Grazing optimization theory
I. Range management principles
A. Feeding strategies
B. Foraging behavior
C. Effects on the rangeland ecosystem
Lab: Field trip
VII. Range Inventory and Monitoring
A. Vegetation mapping
B. Grazing surveys
C. Determining grazing capacity
D. Determine grazing utilization
E. Range condition - National Research Council procedure
Lab: Inventory and monitor procedures in the field
VIII. Stocking Rate (SR)
A. Foraging strategies and effects on the rangeland ecosystem
B. Definition of animal unit
C. SR determined by forage production
D. SR determines livestock productivity
E. SR determines economic return
F. Grazing intensity
G. Importance of minimum residual biomass
H. Range readiness and timing
I. Calculation of SR - Adjustments for distance to water and slope
J. Key-plant and key area indicators
K. Range management principles
Lab: Set up a variety of stocking rates and evaluate effects
IX. Grazing Methods and Livestock Distribution
C. Merrill three-herd, four-pasture system
E. Best pasture
F. Rest rotation
G. High intensity-low frequency
Lab: Set up and implement a grazing system and evaluate effects
X. Manipulation of Range Vegetation
A. Rangeland Problems in the Western United States
B. Control of unwanted plants
C. Economic considerations
D. Vegetation manipulation
Lab: Field trip to a previous burn site; assessment of plant
XI. Range Wildlife Management
A. Wildlife habitat monocultures
1. Crested wheat grass
2. Big sagebrush
B. Impact of grazing on wildlife
C. Wildlife-livestock interactions
D. Grazing systems to enhance wildlife
1. Game birds
2. Big game
E. Brush control
F. Game ranching
G. Wild horses and burros
H. Small mammal problems
I. Rangeland management principles
Lab: Field trip to Fish & Game or wildlife rangeland parcel;
Inventory a rangeland parcel
1. Reading: approximately 20-30 pages per week.
2. Labs (representative assignments):
a. Rangeland plant sample collection and identification;
b. Inventory and monitoring in the field;
c. Setting up and evaluating stocking rates;
d. Set up, implement, and evaluate a grazing system;
e. Assessment of plant progression at a burn site;
f. Inventory or a rangeland parcel.
Labs may be conducted at Shone Farm or involve field trips (3-7) to
various pasture and rangeland sites.
3. Lab reports (graded 30% writing; 70% problem solving).
4. Evaluate assigned location and develop an inventory, assessment,
and management plan (5-10 pages; graded 30% writing; 70% problem solving).
5. Quizzes (2-4); midterm; final exam.
Range Management - Principles and Practices. J.L. Holechek, R.D. Pieper
and C.H. Herbel. Prentice Hall, Fifth edition, 2004.
Rangeland Health: New Methods to Classify, Inventory, and Monitor Rangelands. National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C., 1994. (Classics in the field)