- Author: John M Harper
Announcement reprinted from California Wool Growers' Association newsletter. I was part of the team and it reflects input from Mendocino and Lake County ranchers as well as the rest of the state.
California has experienced five large-scale, multiyear droughts since 1960; however, the current event is considered the state's most severe drought in at least 500 years. Each year of the current drought has presented different challenges; for example, much of California received no measurable precipitation December 2013 through late January 2014. In the following year, the Sierra Nevada snowpack was just 5% of normal. As California ranching is largely dependent on rain-fed systems, as opposed to groundwater or stored water, it is very vulnerable to drought. In fact, rangeland livestock ranchers were among the first affected by the abnormally warm, dry winters at the beginning of the current multiyear drought.
In this article, we highlight lessons learned so far from past droughts, as well as California's unprecedented and ongoing multiyear drought. We draw on ranchers' perspectives and experiences, including research results from a statewide mail survey of 507 ranchers and semistructured interviews of 102 ranchers, as well as our own experiences. The mail survey (the California Rangeland Decision-Making Survey) included questions on operator and operation demographics, goals and practices, information resources, and rancher perspectives. Semistructured interviews are part of a larger ongoing project (the California Ranch Stewardship Project) examining rangeland management for multiple ecosystem services.
The publication is available at the following link - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019005281630027X
- Author: John M Harper
November 7, 2014
• What the U.S. Drought Monitor means to you
• How CA Ranchers are coping with the drought
• New feeding strategies for livestock in drought
• NOAA's forecast for the coming season
The map tells the tale of California's relentless drought, its location and severity. This workshop will tell you the story of the Drought Monitor, in particular how the map may help you qualify for drought relief assistance – and how local California experience and information can be used to inform the drought mapping process. Results will also be shared from current studies of how ranchers are impacted by and managing for drought on their ranches, as well as on the newest livestock drought feeding strategies. The California state climatologist will present the forecast for the coming season. The workshop will be on the UC Davis campus and webcast to the majority of participants at local satellite locations across California. The workshop recordings will be posted on-line.
Questions and comments from local satellite webcast locations will be included throughout the workshop.
|9:15 AM||Registration Opens and Morning Refreshments Served|
|9:50 AM||Welcome, Ken Tate, UC Davis and UC Cooperative Extension|
|10:00 AM||U.S. Drought Monitor: Setting the Context and Introduction of Speakers, Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center|
|• A Behind the Scenes Look at the Drought Monitor: History, Tools, and Methods, Eric Luebehusen, USDA|
|• How to get information into the US Drought Monitor Process, Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center|
|• The California Drought of 2011-14: Brief History and Current Impacts, Brad Rippey, USDA|
|11:00 AM||Questions and Discussion about the Drought Monitor and California, Chad McNutt, NOAA
Discuss the Drought Monitor and how California's ranching and range community can inform the process.
|12:00 PM||Lunch Provided by the UCD Rustici Rangeland Endowments|
|1:00 PM||California Ranchers' Experiences with Drought, Leslie Roche, UC Davis
Insights to on-ranch drought impacts, outlooks, and management based on surveys and interviews of over 500 ranchers living through this drought.
|1:30 PM||New Livestock Drought Feeding Strategies, Glenn Nader, UC Cooperative Extension
Tips for improving the nutritional quality of low quality feed products, and supplementing livestock diets on rangelands.
|2:00 PM||Seasonal Climate Forecast and Opportunity for Q&A's for the Coming Season, Michael Anderson, California State Climatologist, California Department of Water Resources|
|2:30 PM||Closing Remarks, Tim Koopmann, President, California Cattlemen's Association|
Contact for Information and Registration – Tracy Schohr at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916)716-2643(916)716-2643
Workshop and Webcast Locations – UC Davis campus and webcast to Auburn, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, Tulare, Merced, Ukiah, Redding, Susanville, Yreka – more locations and details coming soon.
U.S. Drought Monitor – http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
U.S. Drought Monitor California– http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CA
UC Rangeland Watershed Laboratory Drought Page – http://rangelandwatersheds.ucdavis.edu/main/drought.html