Written by Sue McMurray
MOSCOW, Idaho – Natural resource stewardship is one area of focus for rangeland managers, landowners, conservationists, and federal, state and private agencies during a January symposium in Boise. The “Congress on Western Rangelands” will bring together groups interested in the most innovative strategies to manage western working landscapes in the midst of controversy. The symposium – sponsored by the University of Idaho, the Intermountain Rangeland Livestock Symposium, the Idaho Section Society for Range Management and the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission – takes place Jan. 13-15 at the Boise Centre, 850 W. Front St., and is open to the public.
The program is designed to help participants learn about the conditions and policies that influence western rangeland conservation and management from a multitude of perspectives. One objective is to explore some of the biggest contemporary challenges to managing rangelands, such as the pattern of litigation and appeal processes involved with federal grazing permits. These public land lawsuits can delay and prevent the implementation of actions which are expressly designed to enhance environmental conditions on rangelands.
“This conference will provide a forum for dialogue about how to balance public and private costs and benefits within working landscapes,” said Kelly Crane, University of Idaho rangeland extension specialist. “The goal of the dialogue is to allow for stewardship built upon local knowledge, best available science and stakeholder involvement.”
The conference also provides a forum to showcase nationally recognized individuals and organizations who have successfully implemented innovative strategies to sustain western rangelands.
Featured speakers include
Dan Dagget, consultant and author of “Beyond the Rangeland Conflict, Towards a West that Works”;
Karen Budd-Falen, a Cheyenne, Wyo.-based attorney with extensive experience in legal issues associated with livestock grazing on federal rangelands;
Ed Marston, original publisher of High Country News, one of the West’s key conservation publications;
Stacy Davies, manager of the Roaring Springs Ranch in Frenchglen, Ore.;
Courtney White, executive director of the Quivira Coalition, an organization that fosters healthy western landscapes through collaborative, progressive land stewardship;
Boyd Spratling, a Deeth, Nev., veterinarian, rancher and former president of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association;
Bob Budd, executive director of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, a program established to enhance wildlife habitats and the natural resource heritage of Wyoming;
Rick Danvir, wildlife manager for Deseret Land and Livestock in Woodruff, Utah;
And award-winning ranch managers, scientists and other conservation and natural resource management leaders.
Participants may register online at the conference Web site www.idrange.org/rangeland-symposium An early bird registration fee of $125 is due by Jan. 4; after that date, the fee increases to $150. University students may register for $65. University of Idaho credit and Certified Professional in Range Management continuing education credit will be available.