Rangeland livestock production sustains the agriculture/wildland interface: An integrated research and extension program
CSANR Project 119
Washington’s rangelands are the critical functional links between forested uplands and intensively cultivated valleys. Range livestock production diversifies farms using lands that cannot be cultivated. We propose a practical product synthesizing the extent, condition, status and future prospects for ecological sustainability of Washington’s rangelands on a website including maps, current data and a synthesis and database of scientifically credible information about rangeland sustainability. Materials will be written to emphasize clarity and applicability to Washington livestock producers and rangeland managers and the resources they have available. While the agricultural focus is range livestock production, the sustainability focus is ecosystem services, resilience under climate changes and “outputs” such as wildlife habitat and clean water. A companion printed bulletin will be developed for those with limited web access, or a preference for written materials. Published sustainability criteria from sources such as Food Alliance Standards and the Rangeland Roundtable criteria and indicators will be evaluated relative to the rangelands and needs of rangeland owners/managers in Washington. Last will be simple, specific recommendations for documenting rangeland sustainability based on analyses of the only three major datasets and monitoring protocols actually used over a period of years in Washington.