Since the 1800s, North Americans have historically overlooked the significance of grasslands. With centuries of farming, ranching, energy development and suburban growth, grassland protection and conservation have been pushed aside.
The top 5 woody invasive plant species in the Great Plains Grasslands include; Eastern redcedar, Honey mesquite, Chinese tallow, Ashe juniper, and Redberry juniper. Past brush management efforts have been unable to stop or reverse the loss of grasslands at county, state, or regional scales. Traditional management efforts have assumed that there are tolerable levels of the top five woody pests in grasslands before encroachment becomes a resource concern and mechanical or chemical removal of woody plants will restore a site back to a grassland. Scientists are now recommending more integrated approaches for dealing with woody species and ending the reinvasion cycle in grasslands.
The Society for Rangeland Management recently released their Rangeland Ecosystem Services Report: Connecting Nature and People. The report includes five key rangeland service topic areas including; food and fiber, water as an ecosystem driver in rangelands, carbon sequestration and security, plant and insect biodiversity, and wildlife habitat provision.
Photo: Rangeland Ecosystem Services Report
Have you seen the latest Pocket Guide from the Great Plains Grasslands Extension Partnership? This Pocket Guide integrates new guidelines for reducing woody encroachment with a planning process. It is also an important resource that further incorporates the latest, science-based approaches for reducing woody encroachment.
Did you know that 22.4 million tons of rangeland production are lost annually in the Great Plains to woody encroachment? Or that The Great Plains accounts for approximately 95% of the nation’s lost rangeland production to woody encroachment?
In Texas, close to 95% of the land lies in private ownership, which means relying on collaborative solutions and public-private partnerships to support the stewardship and conservation of natural resources for the public good.
Four separate projects have been funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative with West Texas Rangelands Involvement! These projects will combine the expertise of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to provide livestock producer support and increase the use of conservation principles on grazing lands.
Rangeland Analysis Platform, also known as RAP, have you heard of it? It is a platform that was created with a partnership between the University of Montana (UM), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI).
Did you know that wild pigs are found on 6 of the 7 continents? Over the past four decades, wild pigs have expanded into 35 states in the United States, with an estimated population of 6.9 million. They are highly adaptable with high reproductive rates.
The Central Texas Fuels Reduction Grant has officially opened! This an opportunity for Central Texas Landowners to apply for the SFAM Mechanical Fuels Reduction Grant to help reduce risks posed to their property by wildfire.