Range Management Advisory Committee
MISSION & GOALS
The Range Management Advisory Committee was statutorily created by Section 741 of the Public Resources Code of the State of California to advise the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture on rangeland resource issues.
POLICIES & REPORTS
MEETINGS & WEBINARS
The meetings will be held in Sacramento, but are subject to change.
To register for a webinar, please see the Board of Forestry & Fire Protection Homepage or the appropriate meeting agenda.
STAFF & MEMBERSHIP
Staff: Kristina Wolf, Environmental Scientist
The RMAC includes representatives from academia, industry, state agencies, consulting firms, and non-profit agencies. The current RMAC membership may be viewed in the following downloadable PDF: Members and Term Expiration
Meeting Materials 2023
- September 6, 2023 RMAC Agenda
- 4. FRAP Sept 6 2023 Presentation
- 5. BurnBot
- 5. Roadside Grazing-1
- 5. Roadside Grazing-2
- 5. Roadside Grazing-3
- 6. FINAL CLFA Powerpoint
- 6. RMAC Outreach Letter to CLFA 6.28.19
- 8. Survey Results for the RMAC 2023-24
- 9. CDPR Hollister Hills Grazing Lease 2020 Reduced
- 9. Guide Regenerative Grazing Leases Final 03.24.2022
- 9. MidPen - Sample Grazing Lease
- 9. Sample Grazing Lease
- 9. Sept 2023 Grazing License DRAFT - Clean
- 9. Sept 2023 Grazing License DRAFT_TC
- 9. UC ANR Guide to Livestock Leases
- 11. 2023 RMAC Objective Assignments Updated 2023-05-23
- February 23, 2023 RMAC Agenda
- 4. What is CEQA - L. Nielson 2023-02
- 5. RMAC Annual Report and Workplan 2022 REVISION 2023-02-06
- 6. CA Fifth Climate Assessment - Topics
- 6. Joint Hardwood-Board Policy 2004
- 9. Workforce Development – S. Marshall
- 9. Workforce Development Presentation Video – S. Marshall
- 10. Prescribed Grazing Draft for Fuels Reduction Guidance
- February 23, 2023 Meeting Minutes FINAL
The Range Management Advisory Committee co-hosted three virtual workshops and four in-person field workshops on targeted grazing for fuel reduction in California in 2023. This year focused on the logistics, planning, implementation, and constraints, challenges, and successes in the use of prescribed herbivory/targeted grazing on public and private lands, and participants learned why people might choose targeted grazing as part of a vegetation management and fuels reduction strategy. Brief descriptions and links to supplemental materials for workshops are provided below:
TARGETED GRAZING FOR FUEL REDUCTION: CASE STUDIES FROM EAST BAY REGIONAL PARKS DISTRICT
March 16, 2023 8:30 AM–4:00 PM Oakland, California (Alameda County)
This all-day public workshop was an opportunity to learn about targeted grazing with a combination of cattle, sheep, and goats as part of a vegetation management and fuels reduction strategy. Participants improved their understanding of why people might choose targeted grazing as part of a vegetation management and fuels reduction strategy, and how that gets implemented. Fuels Reduction Coordinator at East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), Steve Keller, explained what is required to manage a grazing contract on a day-to-day basis. Rangeland Specialist at EBRPD, Allison Rofe, discussed the goals of the East Bay Regional Park’s livestock grazing program including treatment, design, permitting pathway, and methodology of partnerships. Star Creek Land Stewards' Bianca Soares highlighted targeted grazers' ability to adapt methods based on project goals and differences in species' grazing styles.
- Star Creek Land Stewards Educational Flyer
- East Bay Regional Parks District RFP
- East Bay Regional Parks District Standard Contract for Services
- East Bay Regional Parks District Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan
- East Bay Regional Parks District Grazing Maps
- East Bay Regional Parks Fire Hazard Severity Maps
TARGETED GRAZING FOR FUEL REDUCTION: CASE STUDIES FROM THE RANCHO JAMUL ECOLOGICAL RESERVE AND HOLLENBECK CANYON WILDLIFE AREA (HCWA)
May 8, 2023 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Jamul, California (San Diego County)
This all-day public workshop was an opportunity to learn about targeted grazing with cattle as part of a vegetation management and fuels reduction strategy. Participants learned about targeted grazing as a vegetation management and fuels reduction strategy in the Wildland-Urban Interface while incorporating conservation values into strategic management. This is the furthest south this kind of grazing management for combined fuels management conservation values is documented to occur in California, about seven miles north of the Mexico border in Jamul, California. Tracie Nelson, Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) and Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve (RJER) biologist, reviewed the context of the grazing project, including property-wide goals and special-status species, including the Burrowing Owl and rare Otay Tarplant; rancher John Mark Austel of 4J Land & Cattle described his grazing planning process, working with partners at RJER and HCWA including CAL FIRE, CDFW, and U.S. Border Patrol, and managing multiple often competing factors; Sarah McCutcheon of the US Geological Survey spoke about the San Diego Management and Monitoring Program for the regional conservation of sensitive species and habitats under the Natural Community Conservation Act; Dr. James Bartolome of U.C. Berkeley professor and Dr. Felix Ratcliff of LD Ford Consultants in Rangeland Conservation Science spoke about the collaborative San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) project in which researchers across a variety of institutions work to understand how grazing and burning affect grasslands and restoration success, and Dr. Bartolome also discussed the development and use of Ecological Site Descriptions; Raul Alvarado of the Natural Resources Conservation Service provided valuable information on NRCS programs, including funding opportunities and technical support for ranchers; CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Pete Scully shared insights into the effectiveness of grazing and other fuels treatments for fire and fuels management; and Matthew Shapero, Livestock and Range Advisory for the U.C. Cooperative Extension in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, shared research behind the science of fuels management and fire danger as it relates to livestock grazing and manipulation of fine fuels.
- May 8, 2023 Flyer
- May 8, 2023 Agenda
- John Austel – 4J Land & Cattle Grazing Management
- Sarah McCutcheon – Sensitive Species Handout
- Matthew Shapero – Science of Grazing and Fire
- NRCS – EQIP Factsheet
- J. Bartolome and F. Ratcliff -SANDAG Grazing Study
- Ratcliff et al. 2022 – Grazing, Fuels, and Fire Behavior
- Barry & Huntsinger 2021 Grazing & Conservation
ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT OF FIRE-PRONE LANDSCAPES: PRESCRIBED GRAZING IN THE OJAI VALLEY
May 16, 2023 8:30 AM–4:00 PM Ojai, California (Ventura County)
Sponsored by the Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council (OVFSC) and Range Management Advisory Committee, this all-day public workshop was an opportunity to learn about targeted grazing with goats and sheep within the context of OVFSC's multi-stakeholder approach to community-wide fire-safety and ecological resilience working with graziers, fire fighters, ecologists, natural resource experts, community organizations, and U.C. Cooperative Extension. Site visits and grazing demonstrations occurred at the Besant School of Happy Valley and the Thacher School, where grazing with sheep and goats is being utilized to manage fuel loads and fire risk in these high-risk communities.
Chris Danch, Executive Director of the OVFSC shared details about the formation and implementation of the Ojai Valley Community-Supported Grazing Program (CSGP), including relationships with graziers and partners; trade-offs in short- and long-term ecological goals and outcomes; challenges, constraints, and successes; and funding mechanisms. Owner-operator Cole Bush of Shepherdess Land & Livestock spoke about the evolution and intricacies of co-developed goals, grazing planning and management, and monitoring outcomes within an adaptive management framework. Matthew Shapero, Livestock and Range Advisory for the U.C. Cooperative Extension in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, shared research behind the science of fuels management and fire danger as it relates to livestock grazing and manipulation of fine fuels. Tom Maloney, Executive Director of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC), described local opportunities for prescribed grazing in OVLC’s stewardship programming within the context of ecological stewardship and a fire-safe, fire-ready community. Michael Leicht, owner-operator of Ventura Brush Goats, walked participants through the ins and outs of grazing planning in complex wildfire-urban landscapes. Morning refreshments were provided by local women-owned Pinhole Coffee and sponsored by Cole Bush of Shepherdess Land & Livestock.
- May 16, 2023 Flyer
- May 16, 2023 Agenda
- Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council Community Supported Grazing Program
- M. Leicht – Ventura Brush Goats
- Biomass Reductions and Fire Hazard, M. Shapero – UCANR
- Siegel et al. 2022 – Grazing & Wildfire in California
- California Fire Safe Council-Fuels Treatment Success Stories
- Putting Nature to Work Series: Prescribed Grazing for Ecological and Wildfire Resilience
- Stewards of the Land
- Prescribed Herbivory for Wildfire Prevention Treatment
- Regenerate Ojai
- UCANR Grazing for Fire Prevention
SALINAS RIVER VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROJECT: GRAZING FOR FUELS REDUCTION IN A RIPARIAN CORRIDOR
May 26, 2023 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Paso Robles, California (San Luis Obispo County)
Sponsored by Althouse & Meade and the Range Management Advisory Committee, this all-day public workshop was an opportunity to learn about targeted grazing in a riparian area with goats in conjunction with mechanical methods to reduce fuel loads in an active riparian area in a first-of-its-kind Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement that provides the mechanism for a long-term grazing plan. Collaborators from the City of Paso Robles’ Fire Department, San Luis Obispo (SLO) Firesafe Council, Althouse & Meade Consulting, and grazing operator The Goat Girls provided insight into this long-term vegetation management project in a California riverbed fuel model. Thank you to Althouse & Meade Consulting for providing a bountiful presentation of refreshments and snacks.
Beth Reynolds, owner-operator of The Goat Girls, discussed logistics of targeted grazing within the scope of the 100-acre project, grazing post-fire and post-mastication, and the use of sheep and/or goats to achieve desired vegetative goals. Participants viewed areas managed by grazing and a goat grazing demonstration and discussed the necessary supporting infrastructure and equipment. City of Paso Robles' Fire Department Battalion Chief, Jay Enns, provided background on the site history and described how fires in the Salinas Riverbed led to a State of Emergency and multi-faceted approach to reduce fuel load in the short-term with plans to transition to a long-term vegetation management plan. Chief Enns reviewed regulatory hurdles and required permits from the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife for fuels management in a riparian area zoned within city limits on a long-term basis. Dan Turner, Director of SLO Firesafe Council, shared information on funding sources and considerations for administrative support to secure funding for the project. Althouse & Meade's owner-founder Lynnedee Althouse discussed goals of the Salinas River Vegetation Management Project including unique environmental constraints and necessary adaptations for grazing management within a watercourse. Biologist and certified arborist Daniel Keeley described identification and prioritization of fuel reduction areas, grazing needs, and compatibility and/or need for other vegetation methods (e.g., mechanical treatments). Senior biologist and project manager Valerie Mattos described environmental permitting considerations for this grazing project within riparian areas.
CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Prevention (WP) Grants Program provides funding for wildfire prevention projects and activities in and near fire threatened communities that focus on increasing the protection of people, structures, and communities. In this webinar, CALFIRE and UC Extension specialists explained the ins and outs of applying for the current WP Grant cycle to fund prescribed grazing projects. Details discussed included the application process, when a grazing plan is required, the basics of grazing for fuel reduction, and considerations when planning grazing projects for wildfire fuel mitigation.
These presentations are available due to a partnership between the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection's Range Management Advisory Committee and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
The Wildfire Prevention Grant is open until March 15th, 2023. Also see the Wildfire Prevention Grants Program.
The Range Management Advisory Committee co-hosted a virtual workshop with the California Fire Science Consortium to discuss the use of prescribed livestock grazing as a tool to support sustainable fuel reduction and environmental management in multi-use landscapes. This year focused on the ins and outs of contract/targeted grazing on public and private lands in the wildland-urban interface and other at-risk communities.
Three separate workshops highlighted case studies of successful grazing contracts and partnerships. Sheep, goat, and cattle producers across the Northern, Central, and Southern regions of California shared their experiences conducting grazing projects to manage fuels in a variety of landscapes and contexts, and included John Mark Austel from 4 J Horse & Livestock, Lee Hazeltine and Laura Gunderson from Integrazers, Andrée and Bianca Soares from Star Creek Land Stewards, Cole Bush from Shepherdess Land & Livestock, Jaime Irwin from Kaos Sheep Outfit, and Elizabeth Reikowski from Willow Creek Land & Cattle. Dan Macon from U.C. Cooperative Extension set the stage for the seminar by providing an introduction to targeted, contract, and fee-for-service grazing, with a focus on fire risk mitigation. Contracting entities also shared their experiences, and included representatives from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ojai Valley Community Supported Grazing Program and local Fire Safe Councils, and the Land Trust of Napa County. The final session also included a speaker from Ascent Environmental, which is assisting the Board of Forestry & Fire Protection in the development and funding of Project-Specific Analyses (PSAs) for Cal Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) projects. The presenters led a discussion on grazing as a covered activity under the CalVTP, funding for completion of PSAs, eligible projects, and the use of the CalVTP Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for CalVTP projects.
Full recordings may be viewed at the links below:
Please see the California Fire Science Consortium event page for further details: https://www.cafiresci.org/events-webinars-source/category/rmac2021
In the fall of 2020, the California Range Management Advisory Committee co-hosted a virtual workshop with the California Fire Science Consortium to discuss the use of prescribed livestock grazing as a sustainable fuel reduction and environmental management tool. Three separate workshops were hosted on the following topics:
- Wildland Fuels: A Primer for Concerned Citizens & Grazers
- Using Grazing for Fuels Management 101: Practices & Strategies
- Organizing Community-Based Wildland Fuels Management Projects: Approaches and Examples
Additional information and links to the recorded sessions can be found at the Fire Science Consortium’s webpage.
THE NEXT RMAC MEETING IS SCHEDULED for Monday, November 27th at 12:30 PM in person at the California Natural Resources Agency Headquarters at 715 P Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 on the second floor in Room 301. Members of the public may attend in person or virtually via GoToWebinar. Please REGISTER HERE.
Board Committees Links