New guide provides tools for ranchers, others in sage-grouse country

Young sage-grouse congregate along an irrigation ditch in a freshly cut hay field. Photo: Leanne Correll

According to its authors, Landowner Guide to Sage-grouse Conservation in Wyoming: A Practical Guide for Land Owners and Managers is meant to enhance understanding and conservation of sage-grouse in Wyoming.

The new guide, which provides tools and resources, is available as a free download from University of Wyoming Extension at bit.ly/UWEpubs.

“It condenses scientific findings into a practical format that is easy to use and understand,” said Derek Scasta, a UW Extension range specialist and co-author.

In 70 compact pages, the guide covers basic sage-grouse biology, life stages, habitat needs, predator impacts, conservation planning and sagebrush monitoring.

More than 40 original Wyoming photographs and seven state-level maps illustrate the lives of these birds that coexist with cattle, other livestock and approximately 350 vertebrate wildlife species, including songbirds and small mammals.

Full-color photos show males in fall mating displays, the sagebrush shape that provides winter cover for nesting females, and the broadleaf flowering plants (forbs)  and insects that provide protein-rich food for chicks in spring. A wire mesh escape ramp in a livestock tank is presented as a simple alteration to reduce sage-grouse drowning.

“Sagebrush ecosystems are complex, and efforts to conserve sage-grouse are multifaceted,” said lead author and photographer Leanne Correll.

Correll heads an agriculture and natural resources consulting business in Saratoga and earned a master’s degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management from UW in 2017.

Wyoming is a sage-grouse stronghold, encompassing almost a quarter of the range-wide habitat and 37 percent of known male populations – more than any other state.

“Those who own or manage sage-grouse habitat play a critical role in conserving this umbrella species in Wyoming and the West,” said Correll. “They were the catalyst for developing this guide.”

Landowner Guide to Sage-grouse Conservation in Wyoming co-authors with Correll are Rebecca Burton and University of Wyoming professors Scasta and Jeffrey Beck.

Contributing support and expertise were local ranchers and conservation experts, other UW faculty members, and representatives of county, state, and federal agencies, including the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The guide is one of many free publications available at  bit.ly/UWEpubs, covering sage-grouse, sagebrush, grasslands, grazing, conservation, and ranch economics.

For more information, contact Scasta at (307) 766-2337 or jscasta@uwyo.edu.

UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources honors alumni, others

The managing director for one of the largest wholly-owned foreign transportation and logistics firms in China and a weed scientist who built a national and international reputation studying glyphosate-resistant crops are being honored as outstanding alumni by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

Martin Winchell

The award recipients will be recognized during Ag Appreciation Weekend Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23, in Laramie.

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup is being recognized with the Research/Outreach Partner Award, alumnus Kurt Feltner, who has benefited the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, is receiving the Legacy Award, and Tex Taylor, a professor and 32-year member of the agricultural and applied economics department, is recipient of an award honoring faculty excellence. Complete stories and photos are at bit.ly/2017agcollege.

Managing director Martin Winchell mixes UW practicality with international experience. From 26 operating locations, Schneider delivers to over a thousand locations in more than 300 Chinese cities. The company serves domestic clients and multinational firms such as IKEA, Wal-Mart and Chevron.

“I was lucky to fall into a niche where I used agricultural and applied economics to learn about transportation,” said Winchell. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business in 1994.

Phil Stahlman

Phillip Stahlman retired this year from the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at Hays, Kan. Stahlman built a career of finding ways to improve or find new weed management strategies. Basic and applied research examined herbicide-resistant weeds, jointed goatgrass, corn herbicides, grain sorghum herbicides, weed control in soybeans, sunflowers, and wheat, and recropping studies to find ways western Kansas farmers could manage their land after drought or other phenomenon destroys their winter wheat crop. Stahlman received his Ph.D. in agronomy in 1989.

Dennis Sun

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup, published by fourth-generation rancher Dennis Sun, is a staple for farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and others with an interest in the state’s third largest industry. Weekly editions cover livestock and crop production, prices, weather, private lands, federal lands, consumer trends, new research from UW, agricultural news from Washington, D.C., and market influences from around the world.

“Dennis and all the staff at the WLR set the standard for this award,” said Kelly Crane, associate director of UW Extension. “In my judgment, few entities contribute more to UW Extension’s mission to provide relevant, research-based information to Wyoming ranchers, farmers, agri-businesses and rural residents than the WLR.”

Kurt Feltner

Pinedale native Feltner and his late wife, Lynn, provided for an annual young researcher award, and now Feltner has established an endowment in honor of Lynn to create an award for the best student paper in Reflections, the research magazine of the college, published by the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station.

“Most of my contributions over the years have been to the WAES because I’m familiar with a number of major studies commissioned to determine the payoff to investment in agricultural research, and the answer is always the same,” said Feltner. “It’s a huge return. Having kept in touch with UW reasonably well over the years, I knew any help WAES received would be well used by the capable scientists.”

Feltner received a bachelor’s degree in vocational agriculture in 1957 and a master’s in agronomy in 1959.

Tex Taylor

Tex Taylor is recipient of the Andrew Vanvig Lifetime Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. The community development specialist is the go-to guy for economic analyses of environmental, tourism and recreation, endangered species and many other issues affecting Wyoming and Wyoming communities, noted Dale Menkhaus, Professor Emeritus in the department, who worked with Taylor for decades.

Taylor has led documenting the growth and redistribution of Wyoming’s population and how that affects the loss of open spaces Wyoming residents value.

Taylor is also a long-time member of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, which estimates near-future revenues received by Wyoming’s government.

Annual Ag Day Barbecue raises money for student groups, scholarship

Last year’s barbecue

The annual barbecue that raises money for student groups in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming is Saturday, Sept. 23, prior to the Hawaii vs. Wyoming football game.

The Ag Day Barbecue is 5:15-7:45 p.m. in the southwest corner of the Pepsi Pre-game Zone inside the Wyoming Indoor Practice Facility next to the stadium. Tickets for adults are $12, tickets for children ages 6-12 are $5, and children under 6 eat free. Game time is 8:15 p.m.

Last year’s barbecue raised more than $7,800 for the scholarship funded by the event and for student agricultural organizations. The Food Science Club prepares the food, and members of ag student groups volunteer to serve.

Why are these teens all smiles?

Gavin Simmons, Ian Siegusmund, Morgan Sanchez, Lukas Simmons, Mishelle Frame, and Torree Spatig of Uinta County are among the first enrolled in ANSC 1009. The UW course is open to all Wyoming 4-H’ers in high school.

They’re honing their animal production skills (and earning college credit) in a new University of Wyoming course, Introduction to Animal Science (ANSC 1009), which connects high school students with UW via field experiences, extension workshops, online content, and Zoom conference calls with animal science professors. To read more and learn ways UW Extension connects with Wyoming, see CONNECT 2017.

New cookbooks in Cooking It Up! series available free

Cooking It Up! brings diabetes-healthy eating and one-pot pressure cooker meals in first two cookbooks of new UW Extension series.

Cooking It Up! Diabetes-Healthy Recipes Everyone Will Love presents 86 recipes from sloppy chili Joe and sweet potato biscuits to fudge, fruit sundaes and strawberry cinnamon French toast.

Cooking It Up! Friendly One-pot Meals from Your Pressure Cooker takes modern cooks from initial purchase to one-pot pro with tested recipes and special emphasis on cooking at altitudes over 3,000 feet.

University of Wyoming Extension offers the two new cookbooks as free downloads at bit.ly/UWEpubs.

“We now know it is more important to incorporate foods you enjoy into meal plans than live with the message you can never eat them again,” writes Melissa Barsley in the introduction to Cooking It Up! Diabetes-Healthy Recipes Everyone Will Love. “If you want to consume a food high in carbohydrates, plan it into the meal.”

The cookbook, which was developed as part of the UW Extension Dining with Diabetes program, emphasizes a balanced approach to eating. It includes cooking and baking at high altitudes, meal strategies for people with diabetes, how to substitute nonnutritive sweeteners, and healthy recipe modifications.

“Many people remember the jiggle-top pressure cookers in their grandmothers’ kitchens that hissed, spit, and blew hot steam,” says nutrition and food safety educator Vick Hayman in Cooking It Up! Friendly One-pot Meals from Your Pressure Cooker.

Pressure cooker designs changed in the mid-1980s, and today’s high-tech stainless steel models are quiet, safer and easy to use, she says.

Hayman says cooking with a pressure cooker is a good choice for Wyoming and much of the West, where higher altitudes and lower air pressure mean water and liquids come to a boil and evaporate more quickly. Because a pressure cooker stays closed tight, cooking requires less time and liquid than with range-top cooking, and flavors commingle and concentrate.

The 42 recipes in Cooking It Up! Friendly One-pot Meals from Your Pressure Cooker cover soups, bisques and jambalaya, main dishes such as Ukrainian-style beef stew and chicken à la king and complete meals, such as garlic-studded pork loin with vegetables.

Other free resources coming soon as part of the UW Extension Cooking It Up! series include tested recipes for high-altitude baking and altitude adjusters for cooking and baking at high elevations.

For more information, contact Hayman at (307) 746-3531 or vhayman@uwyo.edu.