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Position Details

238 Rangeland Specialist


Associated Documents


This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



Given the extent of rangelands in California and their importance for economic well-being, rural community livelihoods and conservation of wildlife and habitat, this position is critical to fill. The CA Rangeland Coalition has also shown that collaboration across multiple sectors in the rangeland community can protect ranches while protecting California's resources. The Rangeland Specialist position is extremely important to this effort as well as further related research.
Posted Apr 17, 2012 8:20 PM by Vance Russell
May 3, 2012
Barbara Allen-Diaz
Vice President
University of California
1111 Franklin St.
Franklin 10201
Oakland, CA 94607-5200
Dear Barbara:
The California Rangeland Conservation Coalition (Rangeland Coalition) Steering Committee would like to express our support for the Rangeland Specialist position housed in the Plant Sciences Department at UC Davis.
The Rangeland Coalition is an unprecedented group of ranchers, environmental organizations, scientists and government agencies who are major California rangeland stakeholders. Together, signatories strive to enhance and preserve private working landscapes. Having scientific
information available is essential to our mission. We feel strongly a need for this position that working across disciplines will expand the technical capabilities and meet the strong stakeholder demand for scientific information to manage rangelands for multiple ecosystem services such as forage productivity, wildlife habitat, invasive species control and an adequate and reliable water supply for California. This position will provide critical insights to guide rangeland management,policy, and outreach, along with playing a pivotal role in meeting the objectives stated in the Rangeland Coalition Strategic Plan.
The Rangeland Coalition is excited to see the potential new position that will focus on understanding the factors that control vegetation states and transitions in order to manage rangelands balancing production and conservation goals. We sincerely hope that representatives from our Steering Committee would be asked to sit on a selection committee if funding for the position is approved. In addition, we hope that you would direct the new hire to guidance from
the Rangeland Coalition Steering Committee to define their scope of work and in establishing relationships with ranchers, land managers and organizations and groups that are focused on rangeland ecosystem services. Again, the Rangeland Coalition supports the creation of the
Rangeland Specialist Position. Pelayo Alvarez and Tracy Schohr co-Directors California Rangeland Conservation Coalition.
Posted Jun 7, 2012 1:15 PM by Pelayo Alvarez
Since this is statewide position I think it is critical that the expertise of the person hired not be limited to annual rangelands in California. The perennial rangelands of northern, southern, and eastern California are critical to the success of livestock operations in California, let alone the importance of preserving those systems. Expertise in managing and understanding perennial rangelands is just as significant as a similar understanding in annual rangelands. Typically the UC system has focused on annual rangelands. I would like to see the position description amended to include all California rangelands, including perennial systems.
Posted Jul 27, 2012 2:59 PM by Robert A. Pearce, Ph.D.
This is a particularly well-conceived and described Specialist position. As such, it suggests strong backing from within UCCE and ANR, which will be critical to the selected scientist's success in the ambitious roles proposed.

The relevance of the proposed Specialist position to the emerging conservation theory and analyses of ecosystem services and sustainable working landscapes is both striking and promising. This position could bridge the gap between modern, mostly international, conservation theory (sustainable development, community based conservation, food security, ecosystem health, ecosystem services) and the very popular coalitions that have brought together the professional managers grass-roots and the agency regulators top-down approaches. While the basic issue of misunderstandings about the role of science in practical management is daunting and frustrating, this Specialist position could bridge that gap, too.

Among the proposed research topics, the work on California rangelands soils and Ecological Site Descriptions by the NRCS and UCCE cooperators presents the unique opportunity to develop and test models predicting the effectiveness of management strategies and practices to achieve conservation improvements. The research should help to clarify whether many current, but unsubstantiated claims about grazing management effects (such as grazing systems) are valid, how each may pose conservation risks, and help define which strategies and practices can maintain the local livestock industry and minimize the negative effects of grazing. In addition, the need for research focusing on grazing effects on habitat for special status species and natural communities in California annual dominated rangelands is critical and mostly unfilled.

Establishment of this new Specialist position would also signal to the two coalitions that UCCE is taking its role as provider of scientific support very seriously.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 10:10 PM by Lawrence D. Ford

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