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spacerPre-Congress Workshops

There are six workshops being held on July 16 (INRA only) and 17 (prior to the Congress start). These workshops are organized by Congress Sponsors. IRC registered delegates can attend these workshops.

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USDA-ARS Workshop - July 17, 2016 - 8:30 AM to 12 Noon - Gallery Suites, TCU Place

ARS Workshop Printable PDF Version

Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) Web Tool Workshop

This ½ day workshop is designed to provide workshop participants background on dominant hydrologic and erosion process on rangelands, equations implemented in RHEM, and how to access and interpret model predictions using examples from across the United States for different ecological andRainfall Simulation climatic conditions. The RHEM tool has been designed to investigate the hydrologic-soil erosion impacts of land-cover/land-use change. RHEM uses an intuitive interface, requiring relatively little hydrologic expertise to identify areas that are more susceptible to land use impacts and evaluate different management scenarios or alternative futures. During the workshop users will be shown how to use RHEM to conduct national estimates of soil erosion, assess the benefits of conservation, and defining the hydrologic impact of changing from one ecological state to another using the concept of state-and-transition models.

Predicting soil erosion is a common practice in rangeland management forFlow Erosion assessing the effects of management practices impacts on sustainability and soil health. RHEM is a newly conceptualized model that was specifically designed to address rangelands conditions for estimating runoff, erosion, and sediment delivery rates and volumes at the spatial scale of the hillslope and the temporal scale of a single rainfall event. RHEM links the model’s hydrologic and erosion parameters with rangeland plant community by providing a new system of parameter estimation equations based on diverse rangeland datasets through a simple web-enabled interface. Model inputs are surface soil texture, slope length, slope steepness, slope shape, dominant plant life form, percentage of canopy cover, and percentage of ground cover by component. Climate (precipitation intensity, duration, and frequency) is estimated for sites within the United States with the CLIGEN stochastic weather generator. RHEM uses this information to estimate the average annual soil loss during a 300-year time span and to estimate the vulnerability of a site to soil erosion based on the risk of experiencing a runoff event with a given magnitude (e.g., 10-, 25-, or 50-year return period storm events). RHEM model inputs and outputs are displayed in tabular and graphical form and multiple runs can be compared to assess how changes in cover characteristics from management practices will influence runoff, soil erosion and sediment yield.

Participants will need to bring a windows based laptop to run the model during the workshop.

If you want to become familiar with the model and background science before the workshop the RHEM model can be accessed at: http://dss.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rhem/. RHEM scientific publications can be accessed at: http://apps.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rhem/docs.

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INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) Workshop - July 16 & 17

Day 1 - 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM - Hilton Garden Inn (across from TCU Place)

Day 2 - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM - Gallery A, TCU Place

INRA Workshop Printable PDF Version
INRA Workshop - Full Agenda Full Agenda

Multifunctionality of pastoralism: Linking global and local strategies through shared visions and methods

Co-organized by the World Bank, FAO, Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) and Livestock Farming and Local Development (LIFLOD) Network, TerrAfrica, INRA and CIRAD

The objective of this 2-day workshop is to present the state of the art of international research and development work and how they address the multi-functionality of pastoralism at various scales. The workshop aims at building and approving a generic conceptual model that integrates the different factors needed to answer the questions linked to livestock sustainable development at the local and global level with a special focus on( i) linking international policy debates (Food Security; Climate Change; Biodiversity) to local stakeholders expectations from livestock activities (ii) defining and characterizing the different functions of pastoral systems at different scales and in different agro-ecological and socioeconomic situations (iii) consolidating “ “innovation”, “knowledge issues” and “efficient support actions” to progress towards sustainable strategies and projects for pastoral systems.

Day 1 - Saturday, July 16 - Hilton Garden Inn

Session 1 (Saturday July 16th, 9.00 - 13.00): Presentation of guideline / framework to assess multi-functionality. Presentation of case studies on the multi-functionality of pastoral systems, knowledge available and gaps; and the ways this knowledge is integrated (or not) in development projects. Presentation of posters.
These presentations will cover a diversity of local situations and their contexts regarding global level. So the main objective is describing the variability and dynamic of functions and values of pastoral systems, as well as the diversity of the stakeholders involved.

Session 2 (Saturday, July 16th, 14.00-17h30): working groups, according to language skills (e.g. English, French, Spanish), on
(i) The approaches used to analyze multi-functionality at different scales in pastoral and agro-pastoral systems.
(ii) Building a new framework to address multi-functionality based on the draft proposed in the guidelines.
(iii) Requirements for new concepts and knowledge for project design and management

Day 2 - Sunday, July 17 - Gallery A, TCU Place

Session 3 (Sunday, July 17th, 9.00- 12.00): Synthesis of the working group sessions, preparation of conclusions

Session 4 (Sunday 14 h00-16.00 ) : Wrap up of the workshop will be presented to international representatives from the different groups of stakeholders (policymakers; NGO; Research; Private sector …).

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United States Geological Survey and Bureau of Land Management Workshop - July 17, 2016 - 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM - Gallery B, TCU Place

USGS Workshop Printable PDF Version

Monitoring rangeland condition and forecasting the future: Sage-grouse and the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem of western North America

Land management agencies in western North America face the challenge of conserving and improving rangeland condition in remaining areas of native sagebrush-steppe shrubland, as well as restoring and rehabilitating areas altered by Sage Grouse - Photo supplied by USGSwildfire, invasive annual grasses, and woodland expansion. Use of best available science and application of new technologies can provide managers with the tools they need to increase success of these actions. This workshop will explore how researchers and managers are working together to improve the knowledge of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem that will provide managers new tools and principles upon which they can implement actions to improve habitat conditions for wildlife, such as the greater sage-grouse. Presentations and panel discussions will provide workshop participants with insights on new methods through the discussion of 4 main topic areas:

Topic 1: Monitoring sagebrush habitat conditions
Topic 2: Modeling the influence of habitat and land use on sage-grouse populations
Topic 3: Assessing landscape level degradation and restoration using geospatial technologies
Topic 4: Managing the sagebrush steppe landscape in the context of fire, invasive species, and changing climate.

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Species at Risk: A Global Workshop -
July 17, 2016 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Gallery D, TCU Place

Environment Canada Workshop Printable PDF Version

Managing Species at Risk - Policies and Tools

Stewarding rangeland resources in Western Canada no longer means ensuring maximum productivity for economic gain. There are multiple stakeholders invested in the results of that stewardship. A variety of drivers influence how human activities change the landscape. This half day workshop will focus attention on approaches to conserving and protecting species at risk (SAR) and their habitat on the prairie landscape in a sustainable balance with the economic and social demands.

Prairie Landscape - Species at Risk HabitatOn the Northern Great Plains, it is recognized that grazing is necessary to maintain the grassland ecosystem. However, there are many variables within the broad management practice of grazing. It is commonly said that grazing management is both an art and a science.

There are two broad focus areas. One addresses the opportunities in developing sustainable approaches to managing species at risk and their needs. This includes presentations on the use of tools such as modifying range health assessments, developing beneficial management practices and taking an ecosystem/multi-species approach. The use of citizen science and social media are also explored.

The second area focuses on the use of policies to lower the risk for ranchers protecting SAR habitat through conservation/management agreements, incentives such as payment for ecological services and providing additional management information through existing programs such as the Provincial Environmental Farm Plans.

This half-day workshop will be held on Sunday afternoon following the morning session with the United States Geological Survey and Bureau of Land Management’s Workshop- Monitoring rangeland condition and forecasting the future; Sage-grouse and sagebrush-steppe ecosystem of western North America.

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Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) - July 17, 2016 - 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM - Gallery C, TCU Place

ACIAR Workshop Printable PDF Version

Sustainable Chinese Grasslands

In 2001 a new program started to investigate improved grassland management in China through finding better ways of improving degraded grasslands while improving the incomes of herder households. A collective program developed with groups across northern and western China, facilitated by funding primarily from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Since 2001 much has been learnt and herders have and are, changing practices, as they shift from a survival mode to one of becoming more production oriented. Our understanding of grassland systems has improved and better guidelines for managing them to achieve a sustainable / resilient state are being developed. This workshop aims to discuss the current state of knowledge for managing these vast grasslands. The results not only have application to the 400m ha of grasslands in China, but also to Mongolia, Russia and throughout Central Asia.

Additional reading:

  • Zhang, Y. et al. 2015. Reduced grazing pressure delivers production and environmental benefits for the typical steppe of north China. Sci. Rep. 5, 16434; doi: 10.1038/srep16434. Click here to read
  • Kemp. D.R. et al. 2013. Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits. PNAS. Vol 110. No. 21. pp. 8369-8374. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1208063110


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USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service - July 17, 2016 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Gallery D, TCU Place

ACIAR Workshop Printable PDF Version

Applications and Limitations of Extracting From Current Rangeland Evaluations to Determine Rangeland Soil Health Estimate

This half-day workshop is designed to outline the applications of five evaluation tools or assessment concepts that are currently available and in use, or under construction, that are related to rangeland soil health.

Data CollectionA portion of the workshop will elicit different approaches, from the participants, to consolidate the pertinent portions of these five tools and concepts that would point to an estimate of soil health that must be accurate, cost effective and could be employed with a minimum of training needs.

The five evaluation tools or assessment concepts that will be described by presenters and then considered in group context are:

A) Rangeland Health Assessment

B) Rangeland Soil Health

C) Ecological Sites and Ecological Site Descriptions

D) ESD State and Transition Models

E) Rangeland Reference Sheets


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Gold Sponsors

US Forest Service

SK Ministry of Agriculture

Environment Canada

Joint Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

US Dept of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management

US Dept of the Interior - US Geological Survey

Utah State - Reed Funk
Reed Funk Fund

Bronze Sponsors

U of S College of Agriculture & BioresourcesspacerWestern Beef Development Centre


University of Saskatchewan

Chadron State College

SK Forage Council

Australian Rangeland Society

Tourism Saskatoon


Sponsor X IRC 2016



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