Rangelands

Rangelands support multiple ecosystem services including grazing, wildlife habitat, watershed health and recreational opportunities. Livestock grazing is the most common economic use of rangelands, and also the principal management tool. Maintaining forage production and soil health is key to meeting ecological and economic objectives under changing climate conditions, and will be essential for sustaining livestock grazing in the future. Conservative stocking rates, varied season of grazing, optimizing herd size and composition, identifying reserve forage, strategic distribution of water, proactive vegetation and soil management and changes in enterprise structure are examples of sustainable rangeland management practices that can help livestock producers adapt to the negative impacts of climate change. More information on these practices is contained in the resources below. 

An image describing the components used to build Grass-Cast.

Every spring, ranchers face the same difficult challenge – trying to guess how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. An innovative Grassland Productivity Forecast or Grass-Cast published its first forecast on May 22, 2018 to help...

Grass-Cast: Grassland Productivity Forecast

Photo by Matt Mortenson. Steers drinking out of water trough.

09/19/17 Flexible Stocking Summit Report The Flexible Stocking Summit brought ranchers together from eastern Wyoming and Colorado, alongside USDA researchers and University Extension professionals. The summit was held at the Semiarid Grasslands Research Center near Nunn, CO, on...

Flexible Stocking Summit Report: A Peer-to-Peer Discussion and Learning Event

Research Study Site: USDA-ARS High Plains Grasslands Research Station

Researchers in the Northern Plains have been studying how changes in the atmosphere might impact rangelands throughout the region. With this research under our belt, we can begin strategizing how to adapt our rangeland and grazing management practices to future conditions. The...

Adapting for the Future

3 cows on dry, brown range

The following content is from a publication from the Forest Service Office of Sustainability and Climate, the full content can be viewed/downloaded in PDF Drought Effects Droughts can result in reduced growth rates, defoliation, and increased stress on vegetation, with...

Drought and Rangelands: Effects and Management Responses

Nutrient Tracking Tool Dashboard

NTT is a tool to estimate nutrient and sediment losses from crop and pasture.

Nutrient Tracking Tool

Cover image to Adaptation Resources for Agricultire

Changes in climate and extreme weather are already increasing challenges for agriculture. This technical bulletin was developed specifically to meet the unique needs of agricultural producers, and provide educators and service providers in the Midwest and Northeast regions of...

Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast

Drought has economic, social, cultural, and ecological costs and in the Pacific Northwest droughts are expected to occur more often and for prolonged periods due to changes in climate. As drought becomes more prevalent changes to natural resources are expected. To promote...

Drought impacts and management options in the Pacific Northwest

From a Dec. 8, 2017, International Space Station flyover of Southern California, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik photographed the plumes of smoke rising from wildfires

CALFIRE-statewide map of California fires.  By following the link on the CAL FIRE home page one can obtain up-to-date and useful  information related to specific incidents in the state – information includes approximate wildfire locations, road closures, general precautionary...

California Wildfires Information

The economic, social, and environmental costs of drought can be significant, and vulnerability to drought in arid and semi-arid regions will likely increase in the future with a warming climate. To promote stronger drought resilience on federal lands, the National Drought...

Responding to Ecological Drought in the Intermountain Region

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