UW Extension bulletin examines conservation market exchanges

Agricultural economists at the University of Wyoming explain conservation market exchanges in a bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension.

“Designing Markets for Habitat Conservation: Lessons Learned from Agricultural Markets Research,” B-1297, shows the importance of thinking about market design when setting up a habitat exchange or bank. The rules of trading can affect market outcomes for buyers and sellers, the authors state in the bulletin.

A growing number of programs provide financial incentives to landowners to implement conservation. Conservation banks and exchanges protect land for habitat and other natural resource values to offset habitat loss elsewhere.

Landowners generate credits by enrolling acres or parcels of land that have habitat value with agreements to preserve and manage the land.

The bulletin can be viewed or downloaded by going to www.uwyo.edu/uwe and typing the title or B-1297. PDF, HTML or ePub versions are available.

Welcome to Thunder Basin invites visitors to linger

Sagebrush in foreground, Rochelle Hills in background with large cumulus clouds in pale blue sky.
The Thunder Basin grassland includes state, federal, and privately owned lands on the eastern edge of the Powder River Basin.

A new guide to Thunder Basin supplies a quick orientation for anyone who wants to learn more about the wide-open, wildlife-rich landscapes where the Great Plains meet the sagebrush steppe.

Free from University of Wyoming Extension, Welcome to Thunder Basin is available at bit.ly/UWEpubs.

In four pages and 19 photos, Welcome to Thunder Basin supplies a view of the ecology, wildlife, public lands history, land use and research in the area of northeast Wyoming that includes Thunder Basin National Grassland.

“The grassland doesn’t always make life in the field easy,” writes Courtney Duchardt in Welcome to Thunder Basin. A University of Wyoming graduate student in ecology and ecosystem science and management, Duchardt has spent more than 235 days (and nights) in Thunder Basin camping, photographing and conducting research.

The factsheet is the first in a series from University of Wyoming Extension in partnership with the Thunder Basin Research Initiative, area ranchers and energy companies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service and the Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association.

“This landscape is a patchwork,” writes Duchardt. “It’s a place where…wildlife and cattle coexist and where ranchers, researchers and energy executives share the goals of learning what the grassland has to teach…”

Welcome to Thunder Basin is one of more than 600 how-to guides from UW Extension (see bit.ly/UWEpubs) that help extend skills in cooking, canning, calving, estate planning and community change, plus gardening, grazing, pruning, cropping, habitat restoration and more. YouTube video series from UW Extension include From the Ground Up, Barnyards and Backyards and Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.

UW hosts researcher known for international trade issue studies


Ian Sheldon

An agricultural economist known for his research on international trade issues pertaining to the food industry is speaking at the University of Wyoming Friday, April 21.

Professor Ian Sheldon will discuss his paper “Eco-labeling and the gains from agricultural and food trade: A Ricardian Approach” at 3:30 p.m. in Room 137 in the Agriculture Building, said Mariah Ehmke, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Sheldon is the Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University.

Continue reading UW hosts researcher known for international trade issue studies

UW Extension accepting applications for ranch management school

Dallas Mount, center, and participants during a prior ranch practicum.

The longest-running and most successful ranch management school in the region is accepting applications for 2017, said the University of Wyoming Extension educator who helped develop the program.

The High Plains Ranch Practicum is an in-depth ranch management program hosted by UW Extension and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

The course begins in June and ends in November, combining case studies and hands-on applications to bring concepts and principles to life, said UW Extension educator Dallas Mount.

“Don’t expect to be lectured to,” he said. “If the ranch practicum school doesn’t make a significant difference in the bottom line of your ranch business and/or your quality of life, then we failed. Our goal is to help you move your business to the next level.”

Dates are June 28-29, Aug. 23-24, Sept. 20-21 and Nov. 1-2. The school is based at Laramie County Community College with outside activities and ranch tours.
Four areas are emphasized: range and forage management, nutrition and reproduction, financial management and family and employee working relationships.

Most ranchers are great at the production part of the business, said Mount, excelling at raising cattle, putting up hay and keeping the ranch running.

Continue reading UW Extension accepting applications for ranch management school

Mediation workshop teaches principles of negotiation, conflict resolution

Hand-drawn cartoon shows a cat and dog sitting across a round table. Cat with satisfied look on face is scratching its claw on the table. Mediator sitting between them grits her teeth. Her hair stands on end and her eyes bug out. Caption reads "She began to wonder if they were beyond mediation."
Workshop topics include the mediation process, understanding and managing conflict, using mediation for different types of disputes, and strategies for difficult negotiations.

A 30-hour mediation workshop May 1-4 in Evanston trains participants to become certified mediators through the Wyoming Agriculture and Natural Resources Mediation Program.

The program helps Wyoming citizens resolve disputes through a voluntary, confidential, low-cost and time-saving process, said Kimberly Chapman, University of Wyoming Extension community development educator. See bit.ly/MediationWY.

The workshop at Western Wyoming Community College in Evanston covers the basics of negotiation and introductory mediation skills.

The fee is $250 until April 19 and $275 after. The fee includes workshop materials, beverage breaks and two lunches.  Preregistration is required and class size is limited.

Agricultural mediation can be used for farm debt and credit disputes, grazing permit reduction or suspension, and USDA program issues, such as disaster payments and crop insurance. Mediators can also help agricultural producers with business and neighbor-to-neighbor disputes and conflicts involving easements, access, estate planning and split estate issues.

Mediators do not act as judges, deciding right or wrong. Instead, trained mediators help disputing parties come together, explore options and find mutually agreeable solutions. This workshop is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the mediation process.

The mediation workshop is sponsored by UW Extension Community Development Education and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Mediation Program. Continuing legal education credits are available.

For more information, contact Chapman at the UW Extension Uinta County office at 307-783-0570 or kichapman@uintacounty.com.