University of Wyoming Extension News

Meetings explore small hydropower possibilities in Big Horn Basin

Milt Geiger

Milt Geiger

Opportunities for agricultural producers, irrigation districts and other water users to develop small hydropower resources at existing water infrastructure will be covered in a series of meetings and roundtables in Worland, Powell and Basin Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 7-8.

The Wyoming Business Council and State Energy Office partnered with University of Wyoming Extension and the UW School of Energy Resources to develop the Wyoming Small Hydropower Handbook, which is the foundation of the discussion, said Milt Geiger, UW Extension energy coordinator.

Geiger will offer an overview of the development process and typical characteristics of a feasible development opportunity.

 “Small hydropower offers water users the opportunity to make our Wyoming waters work even harder, producing electricity while serving the needs of irrigators and municipalities,” said Geiger.

The roundtables and presentation highlight the “where, what and how” of the evaluation process, including Wyoming case studies, he said.  Recent reports by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation identifying potential development locations in the Big Horn Basin will be discussed.  Incentives and a simplified permitting process will also receive attention.

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Pinedale students win statewide Lego competition’s top award

Front, from left, Garrett Swain, Luke Gray, Zane McClain, Brooke Noble, Janae Arne, Holden Saxton, Jackson Harber. Back: John Covill

The Iron Bridge Builders are, front, from left, Garrett Swain, Luke Gray, Zane McClain, Brooke Noble, Janae Arne, Holden Saxton, Jackson Harber. Back: John Covill

Sublette County 4-H’s First Lego League (FLL) Robotics team “Iron Bridge Builders” won the FLL championship but also the competition’s most prestigious honor – the Champion’s Award.

Competition was Dec. 5-6 at the Casper Events Center.

The team scored 175 points putting them first among 64 teams from across the state, said Robin Schamber, Sublette County 4-H educator.

FLL is an international competition for children ages 9-14 in North America. Each year, a new challenge is announced in August with a theme focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles. Teams are judged in three categories: the robot game, the project and the FLL core values.

Nine members ages 9-11 made up the winning Iron Bridge Builders team. Students are, from Pinedale Elementary, Janae Arne, Holden Saxton, Brooke Noble, Thayne Daniels, Garrett Swain, Zane McClain, Luke Gray, and Jackson Harber, and from Pinedale Middle School, John Covill.

The team captured Sublette County’s first Champions Award.

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Extension bulletin breaks down livestock vs. wildlife grazing competition

b1260A new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension covers livestock and wildlife grazing competition and the facts leading to dietary overlap.

“Dietary Composition and Conflicts of Livestock and Wildlife on Rangeland” explains the distinctions between types of roughages and the physiological reasons why animals prefer grazing on certain plant types.

Derek Scasta, assistant professor and extension rangeland specialist, said, “The interaction of livestock and wildlife on rangeland is an issue of concern not only for ranchers and wildlife managers, but the general public.”

He explained wild horses and their impact on rangelands have recently raised additional considerations.

 “In particular, competition for food resources can help guide decisions for grazing timing, duration and location, ” he said.

To download, go to http://www.uwyo.edu/ces and click Publications on the left-hand side of the page. Type B-1260 in the Search Publications field and follow the prompts.

UW Range Club earns regional competition honors

Undergraduate Range Management Exam team members back, from left, Julia Workman, assistant coach, Shelby Baumgartner, Shay Horton, Eric Ramerth, Ethan Overton, Nolan Hicks, Derek Scasta, coach. Front, Amanda Lee, Andee Leininger, Jessica Windh, Kelsey Welten, BJ Bender, Tevyn Baldwin

Undergraduate Range Management Exam team members back, from left, Julia Workman, assistant coach, Shelby Baumgartner, Shay Horton, Eric Ramerth, Ethan Overton, Nolan Hicks, Derek Scasta, coach. Front, Amanda Lee, Andee Leininger, Jessica Windh, Kelsey Welten, BJ Bender, Tevyn Baldwin

University of Wyoming’s Range Club brought home honors last month during the Wyoming Section of the Society for Range Management (SRM) meeting and regional competition in Evanston.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources students competed against those from UtahState University, Southern Utah University and Colorado State University. UW will compete in February at the International SRM meeting in Sacramento, Calif.

Range ecology and watershed management (REWM) student BJ Bender, Lake Forest, Calif., won extemporaneous speaking. Fellow range student Amanda Lee, Flower Mount, Texas, and agroecology student Andee Leininger, La Junta, Colo., earned third and fourth, respectively. The students are coached by extension range specialist and club co-adviser Rachel Mealor.

Bender, Kelsey Welter, Aurora, Colo., and Jessica Windh, Reedley, Calif., won the Range Cup poster competition. The team was mentored by ecosystem science and management (ESM) professor Pete Stahl.

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Ecological, systems approach to weed management UW webinar topic

Brian Mealor

Brian Mealor

Land and weed managers can dive into the systems management approach to weeds during a University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources webinar Friday, Dec. 5.

The session begins at 1:10 p.m. in room 1032 of the College of Agriculture Building and is online at http://goo.gl/IT6tFw.

Plant science assistant professor and UW Extension weed specialist Brian Mealor will explore how to strategically deploy resources beyond herbicides to reduce effects of plant invasions on Wyoming landscapes.

“Invasive weed management in Wyoming: Applied ecology from a systems perspective” will explain the invasion process and ecological interactions affecting it to help landowners and natural resource professionals identify management techniques.

Current and ongoing research ranges from prevention of new invasions to restoring highly affected areas.