Diane Prather: Extension hosting Range Management School

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Diane Prather

The Moffat County Extension Office, 539 Barclay St., is hosting Range Management School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in Craig.

This is a special school.

Since its beginning in 1995, the Range Management School has had more than 7,000 participants from across the West.

Robbie LeValley, Tri-River area range and livestock extension specialist, said the school is intended for everyone.

Participants who will benefit from the school include the ranching community, environmentalists, private landowners, county commissioners, bankers, public land managers and specialists, including the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

LeValley said the Range Management School is science-based and provides the best available science and information about on-the-ground application for the care and management of rangelands.

When discussing topics to be covered during the school with LeValley, I presented a grassland situation from the spring/summer of 2011, found on some of Moffat County’s high elevation summer pastures.

Since the spring was unusually cool, the snow was late melting, and the pasture soils were cold up into May.

When it finally did turn warm, the grasses started to grow but not as tall as normal. Will the school cover situations like this one?

“The school will provide scientific information as to what went on, and in cases like this, what should be implemented from a long-term management standpoint for the health of the animals and the plants,” LeValley said.

In general, topics for the school will include plant growth, timing and duration of grazing, range nutrition and animal behavior, designing the grazing strategy and riparian management, fencing techniques, grazing management tools and techniques, monitoring and the grazing response index, and tying it all together.

Besides LeValley, presenters for the Range Management School are: Floyd Reed, who is retired from the forest service; John Murray, who is retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Dave Bradford, of the forest service; and rancher Chase Roeber.

Pre-registration is required to the Extension Office.

Information needed includes the names of those who will attend, address, phone number and e-mail.

The cost of the school is $30 per person and includes a resource notebook and lunch. Two individuals from the same ranch who need one notebook can register for $50 per ranch.

For more information concerning the Range Management School, call the extension office at 824-9180.

When discussing the Range Management School, C.J.Mucklow, a Routt County extension agent, said it’s an excellent resource for participants.

“The school is well worth your time,” he said. “Excellent information.”

Copyright Diane Prather, 2011.

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