- Author: Nikolai Schweitzer
UC ANR Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center has been collecting and recording rangeland herbaceous dry matter yield values for close to 40 years. Sierra Foothill REC is among a rare and prestigious class which have consistently sampled Northern California rangeland forage (lbs/ac). Establishing, developing, and consistently producing reliable herbaceous dry matter yields allows land resources managers, ranchers, and private-landowners to determine the effectiveness of management practices, establish a record of range conditions, document the effect of livestock grazing in key areas, and establish “trend monitoring” (trace changes over time). Also, the utilization of historical and current herbaceous fuel growth data /analysis and a public educational herbaceous fuel growth database allows local, state, federal, and tribal fire management agencies to accurately predict fire behavior and danger, mitigate unprecedented catastrophic wildland fires, update and maintain vegetation and fuels maps, and facilitates the development of timely herbaceous fine fuels data analysis and predictive fuel modeling.
Academics and staff at Sierra Foothill REC utilize the rangeland forage data in various ways. Provide reliable, consistent forage data to the public, inform researchers of past and present rangeland forage conditions, set stocking rates/densities for SFREC research cattle and the UC Davis Animal Science cattle herd, and assist local fire agencies with resource allocation.
Last year, several replicated sites within the SFREC Range Forage Production Monitoring plot had soil moisture and temperature sensors installed, along with a simple weather station (precipitation and air temperature). After comparing last year's data with our current year, several notable changes are mentioned below.
1) Precipitation has increased (Nov. 1 to Feb. 1) by 2.16 inches compared to last year.
2) Canopy soil temperature has increased by 3 degrees or more (Nov. & Dec.) compared to last year.
3) Rangeland forage production has decreased when compared to last year and the long-term historical average.
This year, a supplemental monitoring plot was added to SFREC's long-term forage monitoring program. Located within a few hundred yards of the “SFREC Range Forage Production” plot, this “unmanaged” forage monitoring plot has not been grazed for 7 years. SFREC staff are sampling lbs/acre, grass height, and the ratio between live vs. dead. Producing and publishing this information on a monthly basis will provide our local fire agencies with advanced herbaceous fine fuels growth data. Sampling and publishing the differences between the “managed” and “unmanaged” rangeland forage plots will generate questions/answers on why, what, where, when, and how.
Your comments and opinions are welcome. It would be insightful and educational to learn what other Northern California regional rangeland oak woodland pastures are producing.
- Author: Emily Baumstinger
Love Nature? Enjoy working with youth K-5th Grade?
Have some time to spare this Spring & Fall?
Apply to Volunteer NOW as a Field Trip Aid for
SFREC's Field Science Days
- Training provided
- Flexible options for volunteer days
- Great networking opportunity
- Counts towards CA Naturalist Volunteer Hours
Contact our Environmental Science Educator
- Author: Holly Stover
- Editor: Emily Baumstinger
- Author: Alexandra Stefancich
- Contributor: Emily Baumstinger
This month, Sierra Foothill REC recognized and congratulated two of our staff members on reaching new service milestones. Martin Beaton has given 40 years and Abraham Mendoza has given 25 years of service to SFREC. Their dedication to the important work they have provided over the years has supported and made possible numerous research and outreach projects critical to rangeland and natural resource management.
Thank you for all you've done & continue to do, Martin & Abraham!
- Author: Emily Baumstinger
UC Sierra Foothill REC is hosting a community workshop & field demonstration event where The Silver Lab at UC Berkeley will discuss results from a long-term (10 year) compost addition trial on foothill rangeland and observed benefits for forage quality, quantity, and soil health characteristics.
At this event, researchers will also be spreading compost for a new project supported by the 2017 Healthy Soils Demonstration Project and funded by Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds and part of California Climate Investments.
- Demonstrate application of green waste and food waste compost
- Examine impacts of compost addition on forage production and quality
- Discuss how compost addition can improve rangeland soil properties
- Explore sourcing and applying compost at an operational scale
- Review cost/benefits and incentives
All are welcome to attend - Get more info by calling 530-639-8800 or emailing Jeremy James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Time: 10am – 12pm
Location: 8279 Scott Forbes Rd. Browns Valley, CA