Science-based approach urged in rangelands
The Society for Range Management (SRM) recently wrapped up its 67th Annual International Meeting, Technical Training & Trade Show. The theme of this year’s conference, “From Dusty Trails to Waning Wetlands,” focused on the regional qualities of the Southeast, yet, per the Society’s mission, the meeting’s supporting curriculum offered research and applicable science to everyone in attendance, regardless of their home state or country.
Despite severe travel and budgetary restrictions in place, the final attendance numbers resulted in another successful Annual Conference for SRM. The SRM Annual Conference remains the main source for science and research as it relates to comprehensive rangeland soil health and continued sustainability of the world’s rangelands. Over 100 trainings and continuing education and professional opportunities were offered to the SRM membership, as well as the general public; with the forum, symposia, and plenary presentations focusing on this important resource.
Specific content presented during the conference included conservation practices, wildlife and invasive species management, grazing ecology and effects of climate change on rangelands and related ecosystems. This represents just a portion of the presentations in Orlando. In addition to the workshops and trainings, over 120 posters were presented that highlighted current and ongoing research being done in the field by those in academia, private consultants and representatives from the federal agencies.
Each year, volunteer committees within the society host this annual gathering of range professionals. Following this year’s success in Orlando, 2015 will find SRM in Sacramento, CA, where the host’s theme of “Managing Diversity” will focus on the rich agricultural culture of the state, as well as rangelands around the world. The tentative dates for the conference have been set as Jan. 30-Feb. 7, 2015.
2014 SRM President Jenny Pluhar (Canyon, TX) commented on this year’s meeting and the year ahead. “As the newly elected President of SRM, I look forward to building upon the subject matter presented in Orlando throughout the upcoming year,” she said, adding, “As a range professional, I see the value of this annual conference in my dayto-day work. The quality and number of trainings and professional opportunities available at this annual conference is truly unparalleled to any other within my line of work.”
“As the world continues to address the effects of climate change, drought, wildfires, floods and human pressures on rangelands, the information and research presented through SRM and our membership will only continue to heighten in its importance and applicability. I look forward to working with those in the range management field in 2014 and am encouraged as to our society’s potential in continuing to provide and apply the best science-based management practices to rangelands across the globe.” — WLJ