UW bulletin details post-fire ponderosa pine restoration at Rogers Research Site

University of Wyoming undergraduate student Kristina Kline, left, and bulletin co-author Stephanie Winters mark the edge of a subplot prior to starting a ponderosa pine seedling survival survey in July 2017.

A new University of Wyoming bulletin contributes to the building knowledge base of post-fire ponderosa pine restoration across Wyoming and the West.

UW faculty members, students and others are exploring best management practices for restoring a ponderosa pine forest following the 2012 Arapaho Fire, which burned approximately 98,000 acres in the north Laramie Mountains of southeast Wyoming.

They are conducting the ongoing study at the 320-acre Rogers Research Site (RRS) in extreme northeast Albany County. The fire killed the majority of ponderosa at the site, which is owned by UW and managed by the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES) within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

In 2015, a UW faculty-student team launched the long-term project at RRS to investigate the impacts of different restoration treatments applied to the post-fire landscape. Early

findings are detailed in RRS Bulletin 5, Restoration of Ponderosa Pine Following High-Intensity Fire, Rogers Research Site, North Laramie Mountains, Wyoming. B-1298.5.

Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) has evolved to survive frequent, low-intensity fires, which clear out the understory. But high-severity fires like the Arapaho, which occurred during a severe drought, are killing the thick-barked trees, and research is still evolving to determine best management practices for restoring P. ponderosa forests following such fires.

“Extreme wildfire seasons are occurring concurrently with drought, and our research is trying to determine if utilizing management practices like broadcast-seeding ponderosa pine seed or hand-planting seedlings are viable options for reforestation,” said co-author Stephanie Winters, a graduate student in the UW Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Continue reading UW bulletin details post-fire ponderosa pine restoration at Rogers Research Site

Management-intensive grazing focus of four-day school

Picture of man
Blake Hauptman

Learning management-intensive grazing concepts and then applying the ideas with hands-on demonstrations is part of a four-day grazing school Monday-Thursday, June 25-28, near Lusk.

The sessions are intended for livestock producers looking to enhance grazing management skills and improve forage and livestock production, said Blake Hauptman, University of Wyoming Extension educator.

Half of each day is in the classroom learning management-intensive grazing concepts and then applying the concepts with hands-on demonstrations and using cattle provided by the Harsy Land and Cattle near Lusk, he said.

Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC, author of the book “Kick the Hay Habit” and a contributing writer for the Stockman Grass Farmer, will lead the class.  Gerrish has over 20 years experience conducting beef-forage systems research and outreach at the University of Missouri, 20 years of commercial cattle and sheep production on his family’s farm in northern Missouri, and now manages a grazing operation near May, Idaho.

Feed costs are typically the number-one expense on most cow-calf operations, said Hauptman.  Stockpiling forages and extending the grazing season while maintaining acceptable livestock performance can lead to major economic benefits for a ranch.

The class is focused on increasing ranch profitability by showing how to design water and fencing infrastructure to achieve better use and improve pasture health, Hauptman said.

“Whether you are wanting to set-up a management-intensive grazing operation on land that is irrigated or sub-irrigated or make improvements in grazing your upland pastures, I think you will be happy you attended this class,” he said.

Cost is $400 per person and $200 for each additional person from the same operation.  Registration costs cover all noon meals, two dinners and class materials.  Class size is limited, and registration is requested by June 15.

For more information or to have a brochure sent to register, contact Hauptman at 307-283-1192 or bhauptma@uwyo.edu, or Abby Perry at 307-328-2642 or ajacks12@uwyo.edu.