Teton Conservation District was recently awarded $20,000 to study rangeland health on public land grazing allotments. The grant came from the Wyoming Department of Agriculture’s Rangeland Health Assessment Program and is the fifth in a series of grants the conservation district has received since 2010 to collect data on rangeland health.
The goal of the program is to learn more about rangeland ecosystems and to build relationships between land managers and allotment permittees. Monitoring trends in the health of vegetation gives land managers an idea of whether the plant community is stable or shifting towards more or less desirable conditions. These trends inform decisions, such as stocking rates, prescribed burns, invasive species control, and other management strategies that support the land user’s goals and natural resource protection.
Teton Conservation District’s Land Resource Specialist, Robb Sgroi, said, “Conservation districts have deep roots in managing soil erosion and supporting best management practices for agriculture. Teton Conservation District appreciates the opportunity to work with land managers, livestock producers, and others to collect meaningful information to manage grazing on public lands.”
Over the next two years, the grant will fill gaps to meet Bridger-Teton National Forest’s objective of having at least one long-term vegetation monitoring site in each pasture (or subunit) of grazing allotments. The study will bring together resource specialists, including hydrologists, range conservationists, and wildlife biologists, to analyze resource conditions and goals. The program was developed with input from the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the University of Wyoming Extension, and five local livestock producers.