Natural resources, Wyoming wildlife focus of Casper restoration workshop

Stahl PeteStahl
Pete Stahl

Best practices of extracting natural resources while conserving Wyoming wildlife is the focus of a two-day Wyoming habitat restoration workshop in Casper April 19-20.

The workshop, at the Casper Events Center, has two tracks with speakers and presentations each day. Past efforts and future concerns begins at 9 a.m., and industry and agency collaboration starts at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 19.

The effectiveness of the governor’s sage grouse executive order starts at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, and industry conservation efforts begins at 1 p.m.

See http://bit.ly/wyorestore for the complete agenda and registration information.

The University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center (WRRC) is hosting the event.

 “One of the main objectives of this workshop is to discuss how we can best continue to produce natural resources here in the state of Wyoming while at the same time conserve our great wildlife habitat,” said Pete Stahl, WRRC director and soil ecology professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

“There is a lot of planning, coordination and collaborative work required among natural resource producers, regulatory agencies and the public to accomplish this. We want to facilitate discussions along these lines at the workshop.”

Contact Stahl at 307-766-2179 or unclem@uwyo.edu for more information.

Albany County extension office open house features wide range of subjects

Topics ranging from identification of native plants and insects in Albany County to eating healthier on a smaller budget are subjects at the open house of the Albany County office of the University of Wyoming Extension Thursday, April 7.

The open house is 5:30-7 p.m. at the Albany County Fairgrounds, said extension educator Brian Sebade.

Other topics include tips and techniques for planting a garden or landscaping and new research at the Laramie Research and Extension Center and the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle.

“Refreshments will be served. Stay for as long or as short as you would like,” said Sebade.

New guide shows Wyoming wildfire patterns, includes safety for prescribed burns

Wildfire in WyomingUniversity of Wyoming Extension rangeland specialist Derek Scasta offers new insights for landowners, livestock producers and others interested in wildland fire in Wyoming and those planning prescribed fires.

“Wildland Fire in Wyoming: Patterns, Influences, and Effects” presents a view of wildfire in the state, including prescribed fires to achieve land management objectives. 

The 24-page publication, available as a free download from University of Wyoming Extension at bit.ly/Wildlandfirewyo, includes original research and findings from more than 50 historical, ecological and firefighting reports and studies.

Scasta examines the influence of drought, weather, season, fuel characteristics and topography on fire behavior and patterns and fire’s effects on soils, plant communities, livestock, wildlife and bark beetle outbreaks. 

“Wildland Fire in Wyoming” covers how to calculate and measure fire intensity and severity and offers guidelines and considerations for prescribed burns that might be applied to improve livestock forage, optimize wildlife habitat, mitigate wildfire risk and protect fire-sensitive plant species. 

Observations are drawn from major fires in Yellowstone in 1988 and Bridger-Teton National Forest in 2012, and others in Teton, Park, Fremont, Sublette, Albany, Platte and Carbon counties up to 2015.

Maps, photographs, tables and modeling results are included, and a resources section directs readers to free fire modeling software, databases, wildfire maps and planning tools.

“Wildland Fire in Wyoming” is one of more than 500 how-to guides and videos available from University of Wyoming Extension (see bit.ly/UWEpubs). For more on fire, see “Living with Wildfire in Wyoming” and “Residential Development Effects of Firefighting Costs in the Wildland-Urban Interface.”

UW professor honored for making rangeland science available to all

John Tanaka
John Tanaka

The United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) in April will present honorary membership to John Tanaka of the University of Wyoming in recognition for making rangeland science more widely accessible, collecting local knowledge and strengthening knowledge networks.

Tanaka is a professor and associate director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, which oversees all research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and director of the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle.

Tanaka and Karen Launchbaugh, professor and director of the Rangeland Center at the University of Idaho, developed Range Science Information System (RSIS), an online bibliographic database of more than 1,400 journal articles and other documents about range management in the United States.

The RSIS provides summaries of articles and provides links to most.

“The RSIS bridges the digital divide between the scientific community and land managers and owners,” said Sarah Williams of USAIN. 

The term rangeland encompasses many open-space habitats grazed by domestic animals and wildlife. RSIS links to articles on rangelands such as Rocky Mountain grasslands, Alaska highlands, Nebraska Sandhills, Kentucky bluegrass and Gulf Coast prairies and marshes.

 Tanaka is also leading Discovering our Nation’s Rangelands, a project to collect oral histories and local knowledge from ranchers and land managers. The project is funded by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Continue reading UW professor honored for making rangeland science available to all

Crook County 4-H’er volunteer efforts net national honor

4-H'er Grace Anderson with some of shoesboxes filled for Operation Christmas Child.
4-H’er Grace Anderson with some of the shoeboxes filled for Operation Christmas Child.

Christmas came a little late – or a lot early – for a Crook County 4-H’er who last year coordinated efforts to fill more than 600 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Grace Anderson, 15, of Devils Tower was selected as a Wyoming Top High School Honoree for The Prudential Spirit of Community Award, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. She is the daughter of Gary and Zeta Anderson.

4-H is the youth arm of University of Wyoming Extension, and its state offices are in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a program run by Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. The boxes contain toys, school supplies, hygiene items and crafts separated into age-appropriate items to children ages 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14 in third-world countries, war zones and areas hit by natural disasters.

Anderson, a sophomore at Wyoming Virtual Academy, had packed shoeboxes with her family for several years but decided in 2014 to have OCC as a part of her Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) project.

“I wanted to fill 100 shoeboxes and got pushback from people who said there was no way to collect that many,” said Anderson, a member of the Rimrock Riders 4-H Club. “We ended up with 256, which was super cool.”

Continue reading Crook County 4-H’er volunteer efforts net national honor