GLCI hopes to link ranchers and conservationists
Ranchers and conservationists share an interest in managing grazing lands for optimum ecologic health. They, and others interested in the environmental and economic implications of range management, are invited to a national conference of the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) being held in Reno, NV, Dec. 13-16, 2009.
In bringing its national conference west for the first time, GLCI will in 2009 give increased focus to western grazing issues. However, the conference will continue its past format of providing information along four “tracks” that will also include Eastern, Midwestern and dairy grazing issues. Some of the issues to be highlighted include the value of rotational grazing and of riparian habitat, carbon sequestration, and the flexibility within grazing systems.
One thing that sets GLCI apart from other conferences is its focus on ranchers as presenters. “We know experts come from academia, government, and the non-profit world, and we welcome them all, but we also look for the ‘cowboy expert’ who has gained his—or her—expertise through long hours with livestock and first-hand exposure to all sorts of elements—natural, economic and political,” says Drake.
Grazing lands management is not just a rural issue, says Bob Drake, chairman of GLCI. With at least two-thirds of the national land base in this grazing land, says Drake, the wise management of these lands has implications not only for the continued viability of ranchers but also for the well being of watersheds and communities that rely on these lands for open space, hunting, hiking, plant and wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge, carbon sequestration and energy collection.
Information on registration and/or exhibitor opportunities is at www.glci.org.