Featured Tool: Rangeland Monitoring Network

Point Blue’s Rangeland Monitoring Network seeks to preserve the ecological value of rangelands and recommend conservation actions that enhance their function for people and wildlife. To accomplish this it seeks to understand and measure ecological function of rangelands and increase communication and collaboration among managers across California.

Handbook

Field Data Forms:

Soil Data Forms


Plants Data Form


Bird Point Count Data Form


Data Entry:

Bird and soil survey data can be entered in the California Avian Data Center (CADC), a regional node of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) hosted by Point Blue Conservation Science.

For more information, please contact:

Libby Porzig
Email: eporzig@pointblue.org 
Senior Ecologist


Resource Portal for Prescribed Grazing & Soil Carbon Sequestration

Point Blue, as a science-based non-profit organization, draws on diverse resources from across a variety of agencies, organizations, and groups when synthesizing information on grazing management. The resources listed below comprise those that we consult and reference when working with producers, land owners and managers, technical assistance providers, and scientists. They represent a spectrum of approaches and perspectives.

This resource list emerged from a California State Conservation Innovation Grant 2017-2019, with generous funding and support from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS Grant #NR179104XXXXG001). There are many excellent resources for producers and technical assistance providers who are interested in Prescribed Grazing (NRCS Conservation Practice #528), using it on the land they manage, or supporting producers and managers implementing Prescribed Grazing. 

The goal of this Resource Portal is to synthesize existing resources and to provide an overview of some of the key resources for California producers and managers working in grazed ecosystems. We are particularly interested in supporting those interested in Prescribed Grazing and its relationship with soil health and carbon sequestration. This list is meant to be an overview. It’s not designed to be comprehensive or exhaustive of all available resources. Rather it’s designed to be a starting place and a “menu of options” for producers and resource managers. 

Resources

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS serves producers and managers working in grazed ecosystems. The agency provides a variety of resources on Prescribed Grazing to help support production goals and conservation outcomes for ranching livelihoods and healthy ecosystems.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rangelands, Pastures & Grazed Ecosystems

The USDA provides support for grasslands conservation, including many diverse grazed ecosystems. USDA engages in producer support for farmers and ranchers, with a focal programs for women in farming and ranching.

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE)

UCCE is a network of scientists, extension specialists, and educators across the University of California and the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. UCCE has a variety of programs and initiatives to support producers and managers in grazed ecosystems, including UC Rangelands.

Soil Health

Soil health, often called soil quality, is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans (NRCS). There are a variety of soil health programs available through NRCS, USDA, UCCE, and state agencies including the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) also has many active affiliates throughout our state.

Societies, Initiatives, Conferences & Annual Meetings

There are many professional societies, groups, and associations that aim to support the science and practice of grazing management to support livelihoods and ecosystem health, including soil health. These groups often have conferences and meetings focused nationally, regionally, and on the State of California.

Trainings, Internships, and Research Centers

A number of excellent programs offer education and continuing professional development opportunities. Some of these programs focus on youth. Others are open to producers, managers, and technical assistance providers of all ages. Research centers associated with colleges and universities frequently share cutting edge findings on grazing management for soil health.

Publications

Many publications on grazing management and soil health are available in both print and digital formats.

  • On Pasture, Kathy Voth and collaborators
  • Drovers, As the nation’s oldest livestock publication, Drovers provides useful business management and marketing information for all segments of the beef industry.
  • Agricultural Land Loss & Conservation, Edward Thompson, Jr., American Farmland Trust, available through CDFA

Contact Info

Thank you for taking a look at our Resource Portal! We recognize that new information and resources are becoming available each day. If you know of great resources, and wish to share them, we welcome your contributions! Please email Dr. Kelly Garbach, kgarbach@pointblue.org, if you would like to share a resource. We may not be able to list all shared resources online. Every contribution is valued and appreciated, as it will help our team, agency partners, and project collaborators as we support producers and land managers interested in Prescribed Grazing and using grazing management as a tool to enhance soil health and carbon sequestration in grazed ecosystems. 

For more information about the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant visit this website.


More Farm and Ranch Management Tools

A collection of resources for private landowners, farmers, and ranchers, aimed at helping improve wildlife friendly practices on private lands.

Rangeland Watershed Initiative.

Point Blue’s Rangeland Watershed Initiative works with local communities across California to enhance conservation on food-producing lands. Our team of biologists work hand-in-hand with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) conservationists and ranchers throughout California to implement practices that benefit soil, water, air, plants, and animals. Those practices include on-farm pollinator habitat, carbon farm plans, ranch infrastructure, waterbird habitat, grazing management, riparian restoration, and more. Visit our Working Landscapes section to learn more and find contacts.

Guide to the Pasture Plants of Coastal San Mateo County

A very cool guide to Central Coast pasture plants written and illustrated by Point Blue’s Mel Preston, published by TomKat Ranch, and supported by other partners in the region.

How Grazing Could Restore California’s Grasslands

An article in Conservation Magazine summarizing a recent Point Blue publication on the role of planned grazing in increasing native perennial grass distribution on a coastal California ranch.

Common Species of the Working Lands of Coastal San Mateo County: A Wildlife Checklist

A checklist to common birds, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals created by Point Blue staff, including Rich Stallcup, and partners (best to print on legal-sized paper).

Being the Best Nest Box Landlord for Birds in the West

A handout with tips on how to build, maintain and monitor nest boxes for western cavity nesting species.

Safe Nest Boxes for Owls in the West

A handout with tips on how to build, maintain and monitor owl nest boxes.

Habitat Enhancement Guide Marin and Sonoma

An easy-to-use guide to habitat restoration and enhancement for riparian and oak woodland habitats in Marin and Sonoma Counties, California.

Habitat Enhancement Guide Sacramento Valley

An easy-to-use guide to habitat restoration and enhancement describing practical steps that landowners and land managers can take to improve bird habitat in the Sacramento Valley.

How to Help Quail on Your Farm or Ranch

A handout on how to attract and support quail on farms, ranches or in yards.

Safe Bird Feeding

A tip sheet discussing the actions you can take to keep birds at your feeder safe from disease and predators.

Waterbird ID Card

A two sided identification card to some of the most common waterbirds in California.

Pocket Guide to Sierra Nevada Birds

A pocket-sized guide to common birds of the Sierra Nevada, containing tips for their protection and conservation.

Pocket Guide to Sagebrush Birds

A pocket-sized guide to common birds of the sagebrush habitats, containing tips for their protection and conservation.

Pocket Guide to Sagebrush Habitat

A pocket-sized guide to learning about sagebrush plant species.

Pocket Guide to San Francisco Bay Birds

A pocket-sized guide to common birds of San Francisco Bay, containing tips for their protection and conservation.

Pocket Guide to Beach Birds of California

A pocket-sized guide to common birds of California’s beaches, and tips for their protection and management.

Restoration Works

A handout summarizing Point Blue’s science showing that habitat restoration works for protecting birds.

Keeping Oak Woodlands Healthy

A two-sided quick guide created with the Natural Resource Conservation District on how to maintain healthy oak woodland habitats on your land.

Keeping Riparian Habitats Healthy

A two-sided quick guide created with the Natural Resource Conservation District on how to maintain healthy riparian habitats on your land.

Keeping Mountain Meadows Healthy

A two-sided quick guide created with the Natural Resource Conservation District on how to maintain healthy mountain meadow habitats on your land.

Keeping Grasslands Healthy

A two-sided quick guide created with the Natural Resource Conservation District on how to maintain healthy grasslands on your property.

Restoring Sierra Meadows

How to assess mountain meadow health and find resources in your area to restore your meadow.

 

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