United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Montana State Office
222 North 32nd Street
P.O. Box 36800
Billings, Montana 59107-6800

4100 (923) P

April 16, 1998

Information Bulletin No. MT-98-078

To:    State Management Team

From:     Deputy State Director, Division of Resources

Subject:    Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program

Jeff Mosley, MSU Extension Service, in cooperation with BLM, USFS, NRCS, DNRC, Montana Public Lands Council, Conservation Districts and Montana Stockgrowers, has agreed to conduct several pilot rangeland monitoring workshops this spring. See attached project update prepared by Jeff.

The workshops are designed to encourage consistency in monitoring. Jeff will be teaching range users and those interested in rangelands, some simple rangeland monitoring methods and procedures that can be used to evaluate rangeland conditions.

While some range users are expected to monitor their ranges, the BLM is not proposing that users be required to do monitoring, but rather that users of the public land become familiar with methods and techniques used to evaluate rangelands and encouraged to take part in that process.

Once workshop dates and locations have been finalized, each field office will be expected to invite range users and interested parties from their area, to attend and participate. The BLM staff personnel should also plan to attend and be prepared to discuss BLM policy and procedures for monitoring rangeland health, as it pertains to their respective areas.

Jeff has also expressed a need to identify ranchers to offer their perspective during the workshop. This would be people who have been actively doing range monitoring (i.e., daily journals, utilization, streambank disturbance, and repeat photography). If you know individuals who would willing to make a short presentation and answer questions for the audience, contact Jeff Mosley at 406-994-3415.

Tentative Schedule of Pilot Workshops

May 15        Augusta
May 22        Townsend
May 27        Billings
June 3        Glendive
June 10        Malta
June 29        Dillon

Please insure your respective staff personnel are advised of these workshops and encouraged to participate. Questions may be directed to Bill McIlvain, MSO, 406-255-2726.

Signed by:     Thomas P. Lonnie

Authenticated by:     Janie Fox (MT923)

1 Attachment
1-Memorandum dated April 7, 1998 (7 pp)

cc:
Jeff Mosley, MSU


Extension Range Management
Department of Animal and Range Sciences
Telephone: 406-994-3415

Montana State University
FAX: 406-994-5589

P.O. Box 172820
e-mail: jmosely@montana.edu

Bozeman, MT 59717-2820

MEMORANDUM

TO:         Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program Committee
            ; Jason Campbell    Bill McIlvain
    Krista Lee Campbell    John Moorhouse
    Reggie Clark    Sue Noggles
    Shelley Douthett    Jim Olivarez
    Bill Garrison    Cathy Williams Rash
    Tom Heintz    Kim Ried
    Brad McBratney    Lisa Schmidt

FROM:    Jeff Mosley

DATE:    April 7, 1998

SUBJECT:    Project Update
We're off and running. For your files I've enclosed copies of correspondence that I've sent to county agents and conservation district administrators. Krista has also made contact with the conservation districts. As you can see from the sheet entitled "Monitoring Workshop Personnel", I still need an agency leader for Glendive and another for Malta. These persons should most likely be BLM or NRCS personnel, so I would appreciate it if John, Bill and Sue would either volunteer themselves or nominate some of their people.

The other pressing need is to identify appropriate ranchers to offer their perspectives during the workshops. As we discussed, ideally these would be people who have been actively doing range monitoring and preferably doing at lease some of the techniques that we will be teaching in the workshops (i.e., daily journal, utilization, streambank disturbance, and repeat photography). I am depending upon all of you to recommend names of ranchers who would be willing to make a short presentation and answer questions from the audience. We can pay the travel expenses for these spokespersons if necessary. I need to have the names of these people ASAP.

To date I have received comments on the draft guidebook from Tom, Brad, Lisa, and Reggie. In addition, Krista received comments from a BLM employee in the Montana State Office. Some of these comments have led me to conclude that we need to package these workshops to build upon the Monitoring for Success name and workbook. This will not change in any way the material that we teach at the workshops, it will only change the marketing strategy and the physical look of the written information. Monitoring for Success has been going for the past 3 years with participation from many groups including NRCS, BLM, DNRC, conservation districts, and MSU Extension. Building upon this success, participants at this year's workshops will receive a revised, updated version of the Monitoring for Success notebook that will contain the information in our draft guidebook. In this way we will avoid the perception that we are reinventing the wheel or duplicating the efforts of others.

Finally, as your agency's or group's representative, please remember that it is your responsibility to keep your personnel apprised of the Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program and the 6 pilot workshops. Your personnel need to know that their representative has helped craft this process and that their organization is supporting this effort.

Thank you for your efforts so far. We will now strive to deliver 6 quality workshops before we reconvene in September to assess our programs. As a reminder our committee is scheduled to meet again Wednesday, September 2 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Bozeman Range District Office.

Enclosures


Extension Range Management
Department of Animal and Range Sciences
Telephone: 406-994-3415

Montana State University
FAX: 406-994-5589

P.O. Box 172820
e-mail: jmosely@montana.edu

Bozeman, MT 59717-2820

MEMORANDUM

TO:     Dan Clark    John Ranney
    Virginia Knerr    Bruce Smith
    John Maki    Kent Williams

FROM:    Jeff Mosley
    Extension Range Management Specialist

DATE:    April 6, 1998

SUBJECT:    Pilot Workshops for Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program

As described in the attached memo (which is being distributed via this week's Thursday packet), your county has been selected to host a pilot workshop for the Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program. I am writing to formally invite your participation in your local workshop. Your local conservation district is the workshop's official sponsor. Their sponsorship qualifies the workshop for funding through DNRC. Listed below is a brief description of workshop duties and responsibilities.

Publicity: The Conservation District will be working with Krista Lee Campbell of DNRC to publicize the workshops. In addition, local Forest Service and/or BLM personnel will be contacting their permittees. Please try to involve your county range committee.

Refreshments: The Conservation District will provide coffee and donuts during registration and sodas and cookies during the refreshment break at 11:00 (in Schedule Option 1) or at 3:30 (in Schedule Option 2).

Hand-Outs: I will bring all hand-outs necessary for the workshops. Krista Lee Campbell will work with the Conservation District to have copies of the Monitoring for Success manual available.

Cost: There will be a $10 participation fee per individual. Each participant will receive an updated copy of the Monitoring for Success notebook.

Instruction: I will lead a small local teaching team at each location. I am thinking of a team comprised of me, the county agents, and one or two local agency personnel.

Identification of Workshop Location: The county agent, conservation district, and local agency contacts cooperatively select the site. We need a site that: 1) has at least 10 ungrazed or lightly grazed plants of the site's key species; 2) access to the bank of a small stream, preferably a perennial stream; and 3) a building of some kind to hold the workshop inside in case of bad weather.

So far, I know that Dan, Virginia, and Bruce have indicated their interest to participate either to me, the conservation district, or a local agency person, but I need to hear from each of you how you want to proceed. Thanks


Monitoring Workshop Personnel

Date    Location    Co unty Agent    Agency Contact    Conservation District Contact

5/15    Augusta    Dan Clark    Brad McBratney    Amy Fry (Teton), Gayla Hall (L&C)
    (USFS)

5/22    Townsend    Virgi nia Knerr    Shelly Douthett    Charlotte Lewis
    (USFS)

5/27    Billings    John Ranney    Kim Ried (USFS)    LaVerne Ivey
    John Moorhouse (BLM)

6/3    Glendive    Bruce Smith    not yet identified    Patty Winchell

6/10    Malta    Kent Williams    not yet identified    Diane Jones

6/29    Dillon    John Maki    Cathy Williams    Jan Phillips
    Tom Heintz
    (USFS)


Extension Range Management
Department of Animal and Range Sciences
Telephone: 406-994-3415

Montana State University
FAX: 406-994-5589

P.O. Box 172820
e-mail: jmosely@montana.edu

Bozeman, MT 59717-2820

MEMORANDUM

TO:     County Ag Agents
    Range Science Faculty

FROM:    Jeff Mosley
    Extension Range Management Specialist

DATE:    April 3, 1998

SUBJECT:    Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program

One frustration faced by range livestock producers is the inconsistency in range monitoring methods and terminologies among the various government agencies (e.g., Forest Service, BLM, NRCS, DNRC, etc.). This frustration is increasing because more and more ranchers are expected to monitor their range as a condition of their grazing permits and leases.

In response to this need, I have spent the past year seeking agreement about range monitoring amongst several government agencies and interest groups in Montana. I am very pleased to announce that we have reached tentative agreement on some range monitoring methods and procedures that all of these groups will support. These procedures are a small subset of the numerous sampling techniques used across the West. The omission of a particular sampling method does not necessarily mean that the method is inappropriate; in fact, it is anticipated that additional sampling methods often will be used by natural resource specialists to monitor some sites in greater detail. The procedures we have agreed upon are limited to reliable methods that require minimal training and minimal time to complete. The purpose of the Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program is to promote uniformity and consistency in the methods used to monitor grazing effects, irrespective of land ownership.

This spring and summer I will be conducting 6 pilot workshop across the state to begin teaching these monitoring techniques to private land ranchers, public land permittees, and interested citizens. These workshops will be hosted by local conservation districts. I will lead a small, local teaching team for each workshop, and I will invite the local county agent to be a member of each team. The schedule of pilot workshops is listed below. Also listed below are the agencies and groups presently participating in this effort. I have draft copies of the workshop guidebook available upon request. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Schedule of Pilot Workshops    Participating Organizations (to date)
May 15    Augusta    U.S. Forest Service
May 22    Townsend      Bureau of Land Management
May 27    Billings    Natural Resources Conservation Service
June 3    Glendive    MT Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation
June 10    Malta     MT Public Land Council/Association of State Grazing Districts
June 29    Dillon    MT Association of Conservation Districts
    Montana Stockgrowers Association
    MSU Extension Service

cc: Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program Committee


(Schedule Option 1)

MONITORING for SUCCESS WORKSHOP

Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program

hosted by

______________________ Conservation District

7:30 AM    Registration, Coffee and Donuts

8:00    Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:10    Overview of Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program
    Why Monitor?
    Where to Monitor?
    What to Monitor?

8:30    Keeping a Daily Journal

8:45    Measuring Utilization
    Photo Guides and the Grazed-Class Method
    Stubble Height
    Mapping Utilization

10:15   Measuring Streambank Disturbance

11:00   Rancher Perspective on Monitoring

11:30    Repeat Photography for Monitoring Long-Term Trend

12:30 PM    Closing

12:40    Each Conservation District can decide whether or not they want to provide lunch at the conclusion of the workshop

_________________________________________________________________ ___________

Note: At 11:00 AM, rancher speaks while audience is having a refreshment break.


(Schedule Option 2)

MONITORING for SUCCESS WORKSHOP

Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program


hosted by

___________________________ Conservation District

11:30 AM    Registration and Lunch

12:30 PM    Welcome & Opening Remarks

12:40    Overview of Montana Rangeland Monitoring Program
    Why Monitor?
    Where to Monitor?
    What to Monitor?

1:00    Keeping a Daily Journal

1:15    Measuring Utilization
    Photo Guides and the Grazed-Class Method
    Stubble Height
    Mapping Utilization

2:45    Measuring Streambank Disturbance

3:30    Rancher Perspective on Monitoring

4:00    Repeat Photography for Monitoring Long-Term Trend

5:00    Closing (additional refreshments optional, perhaps a sponsored happy hour)

_________________________________________________________________ ____________

Note: At 3:30 PM, rancher speaks while audience is having a refreshment break.


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