Search for Excellence in Environmental Quality, Forestry and Natural Resources
Area Assistant Agent
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
1 Area Assistant Agent, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Kingman, AZ, 86401
2 1Area Assistant Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources, The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Globe, AZ,
3 Area Agent, Natural Resources, The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Willcox, AZ,
The Arizona Cooperative Extension Rangeland Monitoring Program (ACEMP) has been helping agencies and ranchers monitor their rangeland resources for over 20 years. The purpose of the Arizona Rangeland Monitoring program is to work side-by-side, on the ground, with federal agencies and ranch managers to help collect, analyze, and educate about rangeland resources and help land managers make the most informed decisions based on science and best management practices. Some of the objectives of the Rangeland Monitoring Program are to 1) assist agencies and ranchers in collecting federally mandated monitoring data, 2) educate about monitoring, rangeland resources, and how to use monitoring data to inform management decisions, and to encourage participation from ranchers and agencies in collecting the data, and 3) help to improve rancher/agency relationships.
The ACEMP is comprised of three similar programs: Southeastern Arizona Monitoring Program (SEAMP), Reading the Range (RtR), and the Arizona Cooperative Rangeland Monitoring Program (ACRMP). Over 2,500 sites have been sampled over the 20-year history of the program. Since 2018, 989 sites on 344 federal grazing allotments have been sampled. Numerous one-on-one education sessions, workshops, demonstrations, field practice, publications, newsletters, guides, etc. have reached hundreds of stakeholders. Rancher participation varies greatly from year to year and program to program but averages: 52% (SEAMP), 100% (RtR), & 12 – 46% (ACRMP). In 2020, a short video was produced to highlight how the Arizona Rangeland Monitoring program delivers on the learning objectives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVyZKsWjCqY
In 2019, a comprehensive evaluation was completed in partnership with our Extension Community Research, Evaluation, and Development team. Some highlights include 86% of ranchers do some type of formal monitoring (100% informal monitoring). 88% of ranchers said Extension monitoring services increased their knowledge and understanding of monitoring. Ranchers involved with ACEMP used significantly more methods (7.3 vs. 4.3 methods). 86% of ranchers indicated that having an unbiased third-party participate in monitoring was important and Cooperative Extension was rated as the most unbiased of resources available (94% completely or somewhat unbiased).