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.
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).
Congratulations are in order for Dr. John Walker for receiving the Sustained Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been recognized for more than four decades of substantial contributions to Rangeland Science and Management.