Range Management School comes to Kremmling
December 7, 2008
About 40 people attended Range Management School on Saturday in Kremmling to learn and review their skills.
“We’re trying to provide people with the best science available,” said Floyd Reed, a retired U.S. Forest Service rangeland consultant.
Mark Monger, 30, who moved to Kremmling from Steamboat four years ago so he could ranch, attended the class a second time. He also has a ranch management degree from Colorado State University.
Cowboys’ main crop is grass, even though many people think they grow cows, because grass growing allows cows to grow, he said.
“This is the key to really leaving the land better while making a profit off of it,” Monger said.
He said he enjoys the freedom ranching allows him and not having a superior to answer to.
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“You set your schedule,” Monger said. “You have freedom in your environment.”
Range Management School offers about four programs a year. This is the first time one was organized in Kremmling.
The group met in the PK-8 School, where presentations included PowerPoint slideshows. Students paid $30 for the class and materials they received.
Some of the people who attended the program were ranchers; others were from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, or Division of Wildlife.
Jacob Martin, 26, of Grand Junction, a rangeland management specialist for the Grand Junction BLM, said the information will also be useful for when he has to solve management problems.
“It’s a great opportunity to reiterate all the stuff I learned four years ago,” he said. “It refreshes all the stuff I learned in college.”
The class was “very informative and all the instructors were very knowledgeable about rangeland management,” Martin added.
The all-day program included sessions about plant growth and environmental impacts; time and duration of grazing; range nutrition and animal behavior; designing the grazing strategy and riparian management; monitoring and the grazing response index; and using livestock as a tool to accomplish wildlife habitat objectives.
Instructors also included John Murray, a retired range conservationist from the National Resources Conservation Service; Dave Bradford, management specialist for the Forest Service’s Paonia Ranger District; and Robbie Baird LeValley, area livestock and range agent for the Tri-River Area Colorado State University Extension Service.
The class was instructed to take before and after photos of their ranch at the same time and place each year, not to graze the same place at the same time every year, and that every year is different.
Baird LeValley’s hope is that each class participant takes away “science-based management principals from the class.”
“Range management is very complex,” she said, “and there is no single source recipe to manage lands.”
” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or email@example.com.