Research and Extension Center System
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Research and Extension Center System

Posts Tagged: Rangeland Management

URGENT: Post Fire Research Opportunities at Hopland REC

HREC and Post-Fire Research Opportunities

What is HREC?

The UC Hopland Research & Extension Center (HREC) is a multi-disciplinary research and education facility in Mendocino County located in the foothills of the Coast Range about two hours north of Berkeley. As part of the UC system for over 65 years, we are stewards of more than 5,300 acres of oak woodland, grassland, chaparral, and riparian environments.  Elevation at the center ranges from 500 ft to 3,000 ft. HREC currently maintains a research flock of about 500 breeding ewes that have been the subjects of numerous studies on ranching practices, range management, livestock nutrition, wool production and breeding.  Field experiments and demonstrations conducted here since 1951 have led to more than 1,500 publications in animal science, entomology, plant ecology, public health, watershed management, and wildlife biology.  Our website is hrec.ucanr.edu.

The River Fire

As part of the Mendocino Complex fire, the River Fire burned through HREC on the evening of July 27 and into July 28.  Approximately 3,000 acres of our center burned in this fire. Due to the concentrated efforts of Center staff and Cal Fire crews, all of our employees, residents, sheep, livestock dogs, offices and residences were saved.  Below please find the burn map of our property.  All of the black area to the north was burned and the dark red patches were areas of vegetation that remained unburned. The fire intensity varied greatly as did oak survival. You will see two smaller burned areas in the southern part of the property that were prescribed burns performed in June of this year.

Research Opportunities

While this was a blow to current research, pastures, and water infrastructure, we also see this as a wonderful opportunity.  Due to extensive historical data sets and ongoing research projects, coupled with a variety of grazed and ungrazed pastures, and prescribed burn plots for comparison with wildfire, there is enormous potential for pre- and post-fire studies in the fields of:

  • Watersheds and hydrology; fire science; plant science; soil science; entomology and parasitology; wildlife and wildlife ecology; rangeland management; grazing practices as fire suppression…..

To support this research, HREC offers:

  • A well maintained network of roads that accesses almost all parts of the property, vehicles to use.
  • A fully equipped shop staffed by employees skilled in fabrication and repair of research equipment

o    Electrical, wood working, welding and metal fabrication, mechanical

  • Skilled staff trained in field work techniques, with long histories of successful research support
  • Fiber optic internet with Wi-Fi access throughout headquarters, strong cell service in most areas
  • A vault of raw data, photos, and final papers from research conducted at HREC.
  • Warehouses for storing equipment, a variety of accommodations from dorms to private houses
  • Wet and dry lab space (undergoing renovation during fall 2018, available spring 2019)
  • Lysimeter with available watering system, electrical connections, and fiber optic access point
  • A research flock of sheep consisting of just under 500 breeding ewes, with all needed facilities and RFID tracking
  • Fenced pastures and biological reserve areas for different treatment plots and controls
  • A fully equipped conference facility with A/V equipment and fiber optic connections

Next Steps

  • Zoom meeting on September 7th, 10am. More in depth information, Q&A.
  • Field day on October 19th, 10am-5pm. Presentations, brainstorming, Q&A, site tours, available accommodations
  • To register for either event follow this link: http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=25451

Contact: HREC Interim Director John Bailey, jtbailey@ucanr.edu, (707) 744-1424 x 112



 

 

Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 11:34 AM
Tags: Chaparral (1), Fire (4), Grazing (2), Opportunity (1), Post-Fire (1), Prescribed burn (2), Rangeland (7), Rangeland Management (27), Research (24), River Fire (1), Sheep (13), Wildfire (1)

Researcher Spotlight: Managing Rangelands for the Bad Times as Well as the Good

Figure 2. Total cover and biomass responses to rainfall and grazing legacy over three years (± SE). Dark squares indicate a legacy of moderate grazing – which created a diverse mix of grass and forb species - and light circles indicate a legacy of low grazing – which shifted the community to only dominant grasses.

Over the last few years Californians have grappled with how to manage lands during times of both drought and plentiful rainfall. At SFREC and on Central Valley rangelands, one question is whether management that promotes high forage in wet years alters...

Posted on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 8:23 AM
  • Author: Lauren Hallett
  • Author: Katharine Suding

Irrigated Pasture Forage Production Project

Figure 1: H11-21, Cage B, 4-6 inches treatment on the left and Total Forage Production treatment on the right. Photo credit: Nikolai Schweitzer

The Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center in Browns Valley, CA utilizes 130 acres of summer irrigated pasture for cattle grazing. SFREC's irrigation water is supplied by a local water district via pipelines and open ditch distribution...

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM
  • Author: Nikolai Schweitzer

Living with Wildlife While Managing Working Landscapes: Presentations now available

On December 1st and 2nd we enjoyed bringing together a group of over 60 workshop attendees from diverse perspectives, including researchers, regulatory bodies, environmental non-profits and community members to talk through the issues of ranching on a landscape rich in wildlife and the challenges associated with it.

"Living with Wildlife While Managing Working Landscapes" was a two day event. Day 1 was organized by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services and brought us on a journey through the research that has been conducted on control of predators, right up to the present day and the current methods available including non-lethal methods such as guardian animals and fladry. 

Day 2 allowed time for further discussion in small groups and the chance to hear from Mendocino County producers about the responsibility they feel to keep their animals safe and healthy for the duration of their lives on the ranch.

The event was a great success, allowing deeper understanding of what is sometimes an over simplified topic with strong emotion attached to it. As one attendee put it "what I realize after this event is that I knew nothing of this subject before it!"

The answers are not simple and the information provided expressed that each ranch is different and will need a wide range of tools to deter predators from their stock. That toolkit may include a relationship with Wildlife Services and their local wildlife specialist alongside guardian animals, minimizing attractants, improved fencing and pasture rotation. HREC hopes to assist ranchers to understand the best methods available to them that make both ecological and economical sense for their ranch by providing a number of training opportunities in 2016.

You can view the agenda, available presentations and notes from the small group discussions up on our website now, by visiting:

http://hrec.ucanr.edu/Extension_Outreach_-_Education/Field_Days,_Workshops,_and_Programs/Past_Workshops/

Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 10:27 AM

SFREC Hosts Beef & Range Field Day for Local Students

CA Assembly Member, James Gallagher-D3, speaking to over 160 local high school students

Over 160 high school students enrolled in FFA and 4-H programs across four counties spent the day at UC SFREC on October 7th, exploring key topics related to beef cattle and rangeland management. Assembly member James Gallagher, who has strong ties...

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 7:59 AM
Tags: Beef Cattle (23), Education (37), Foothill Abortion (3), Outreach (43), Ranchers (30), Rangeland Management (27), SFREC (72), UCANR (44), Workshop (21)

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