Letter to the Editor: Thanks to those in rangeland monitoring training program

Dear Editor:
As good stewards of the land, ranchers continually strive to improve their management of the rangelands.
The Douglas Creek and White River conservation districts are pleased to have an additional four local ranchers take advantage of the Districts’ Rangeland Monitoring Training Program during 2013.
The Crippled Cowboy Outfit, Nick Theos Family LP, Cox Livestock LLC, and Mike Lopez began the rangeland monitoring over the past summer, utilizing the Colorado Resource Monitoring Initiative Guidelines provided through the districts’ training program.
The definition of rangeland monitoring is “the orderly, repeated collection, analysis and interpretation of resource information (data). It can be used to guide both short- and long-term adaptive management decisions.”
Several ranchers participated in the two-day training here in Rio Blanco County, provided by Colorado Cattlemen’s Past President Tim Canterburry.
Canterburry provided excellent training to district staff so they could continue training landowners throughout the year and into the future. The staff then helped two more ranchers begin monitoring by providing individual training on their respective ranch and/or BLM permitted lands.
After setting up several permanent locations and collecting the data along a transect line in each location, each rancher received individual training on entering their gathered data into a third-party verified database hosted by the Colorado Cattlemen.
After several years of data entry, a rancher/land manager can pull up reports that provide comparable details for the respective location, which will include photos taken of exactly the same location and in the same directions for a visual of the various rangeland impacts.
The report will also include additional entered data including a record of timing and duration of livestock grazing, climatic conditions, plant diversity, plant production and surface cover. With this detailed information, the rancher/land manager can make management decisions that will improve rangeland health and his bottom line in years to come.
The districts wish to thank the ranchers, the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Cattlemen for their partnership in this program. The cooperative nature of the program will help all involved in land management to maintain and/or improve the rangeland health within Rio Blanco County.
Callie Hendrickson
Executive Director
Stacey Gould
District Manager
Douglas Creek and White River
Conservation Districts
Rangely and Meeker