It is the science of obtaining maximum production from grassland/scrubland on a sustained basis.
Rangeland is the uncultivated areas that support natural vegetation and seeded herbaceous with or without scattered trees. It is suitable for grazing and surfing animals. Rangeland is the foremost types of lands in the ecosphere. These lands are a major source of forage for cattle, and also provide an environment for a variety of natural plants and animals. Rangeland is also used by society for entertaining purposes. Some Plant species of these lands are used in landscaping, and as a source of industrial chemicals, medicines, and charcoal.
Rangeland is not fertilized, planted, wetted or harvested with apparatuses. Rangelands are different from Pasturelands, which require periodic cultivation to sustain hosted non-native species of forage plants. Pasturelands may also need fertilization or irrigation and are usually confined.
Rangelands were originally exposed, natural spaces, but much of their area has now been fenced to accommodate human practices, predominantly livestock grazing, which requires rotation system that needs splitting.
Pastureland (fig1.1). Rangeland (fig1.2).
types of rangeland
Rangelands care plant communities that are conquered by species of perennial grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, and brushes. Around the world there are five basic types of rangelands, it includes natural grassland, desert shrubland, savanna woodland, forest, and tundra. Prairies do not have bushes or trees developing on them. Desert shrublands are the widest and dehydrated of rangelands. Savanna woodlands are a conversion between prairies and woodlands and contain herbaceous plants among dispersed, low growing bushes and plants. Forests comprise of bigger trees developing closer together than in savanna. Tundra areas are without trees, level grasslands in the cold or at the high altitudes of mountains.
Forest (fig1.3). Tundra (fig1.5). Prairies grassland (fig1.5).
Savanna woodland (fig1.6). Desert scrubland (fig 1.7).
North American rangelands comprise of: (1) the prairie fields of the Midwestern United States and reaching out into Canada, and in addition parts of California and the northwestern states; (2) cool desert rangeland in the Great Basin of the United States, and hot desert (Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahua) of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico; (3) open forests from Washington state to Chihuahua, Mexico, and in the Rocky and Sierra-Cascade Mountains; (4) woods (western and northern coniferous, southern pine, and eastern deciduous); and (5) high tundra (for the most part in Alaska, Colorado, and western Canada) and ice tundra (in Alaska and northern Canada).
The art and science of development and aiming range use to obtain continuous maximum animal production, reliable with the preservation of the natural resources.
types of range management
Extensive – To control livestock quantities in the present ability of the range, but little or no effort is made to attain uniform supply of livestock. Range management investments are negligible and only to the extent needed to preserve stewardship of the range in the presence of browsing. Past resource damage is modified and resources are protected from natural disasters.
Intensive – To maintain full plant life and to achieve full livestock utilization of accessible forage. This aim is accomplished through use of better-quality browsing methods and creation and installation of range developments. Traditional performs, (seeding and fertilizing), to improve forage quality and capacity may be used.
rangeland management techniques
Rangeland management techniques include various mechanical methods which involve bulldozing, blading, and tree dozing, chaining, and cabling, railing, roller chopping, roto beating, mowing, pipe harrow, multiple plant –entire plant removal techniques, disk plowing, Wheatland plowing, offset disking, brush land plowing, disk chaining, root raking, root plowing, spring tooth harrow, chisel plow, Dixie harrow.
Multiple plant-Top growth removal techniques
Management use of bulldozing involve crushing brush, grabbing trees and stumps, removing scattered tree/ brush stands. It is used on oak, aspen, pinyon-juniper, willow.
Advantage -It operates on steep slopes. It can stimulate aspen and willow growth.
Disadvantage-soil disturbance ranges from light to heavy and can increase erosion. It is also an expensive technique. This technique is not suitable in rocky areas; best on uniform areas. It is not effective on young plants. This technique is used in winter.
It is used for rapidly clearing large areas, well on frozen soils. It has a disadvantage it can spread invasives including prickly pear, it is not suitable on rocky areas but best on uniform areas. This technique can be used in winter, spring, and fall.
It is used for removing even aged, mature, non-sprouting species. It enhances herbaceous scrub vegetation. It cannot operate beneath the ground surface. It is not suitable for rocky areas. It can be used in winter, spring and fall season.
It is used for thinning only, less harsh treatment. Its advantage include reduced kill of small trees/ shrubs of desirable species. Essentially no damage to shrub understory in pinyon-juniper areas. Tractors travel faster with cable. It is not suitable in areas with dense shrubs. It is used in spring or fall season.
1.4.5 Railing (railroad rail H-beam, channel iron)
It is used for thinning small, brittle shrubs to enhance herbaceous understory growth, covers broadcast seeded areas. It is not costly. It rides over smaller plants and flexible shrubs. It can spread invasives which is disadvantage of railing technique, also stimulates sprouting. It can be used in early spring or late fall.
1.4.6 Roller chopping
This technique is used for crushing brush and compacting woody material prior to burning, also used for thinning non-sprouting shrubs. It incorporate organic residue into soil. It is not suitable for rocky areas and steep slopes. This technique is used in early spring or late fall.
It is used for cutting /mulching small shrubs at ground level. It is used to clear forest sites, right of way for tree planting.it is most effective technique when used with other treatments such as burning, herbicides etc. Mulching prevent erosion, preserves moisture, preserves herbaceous species. It has little effect on soils, using this technique slopes to 35% can be treated.
Disadvantage involve, it is very expensive, can spread invasives, most shrub species have to be retreated to effective control. It is not suitable on rocky areas.
It is used to control small non sprouting brush, prostate plants not damaged, little effect on soil. It effectively controls upright annuals. It does not kill perennial herbaceous plants, but it spread rabbit brush when done in fall.it is not suitable for rocky areas or steep slopes. This technique is best suitable to prevent the spread of rabbit brush and invasives.
1.4.9 Pipe harrow
It is used for thinning low brittle brush, used for seeded preparation in rocky areas, also effective for incorporating residue after a burn, scarifies soil surface, and covers broadcast seedlings.
This technique is not effective in rock free soils, not effective on large shrubs, sprouting plants.
Multiple plant-entire plant removal techniques
Mechanic-al method Management use Advantage Disadvantage limitations Season of use
Disk plowing -Kills, shreds brush for seedbeds
-Used to control sprouting and non-sprouting plants
-Effective on sagebrush, greasewood,
-Leaves woody mulch on soil surface; to enhance soil moisture & protection
-Good for sagebrush control
-effective in reducing competition from herbaceous vegetation
-Good for mixing and aerating soil. -Destroys most herbaceous plants; follow up seedling required -Should in done in early spring and seeded as soon as possible to reduce spread of weeds and rabbit brush -early spring, late fall
-timing depend on management objectives and plant species that will be seeded after
Wheatland plowing -used on gentle terrain and rock free areas -Effective on sagebrush -Re-seeding must follow treatment -Suitable on gentle terrain
And rock free areas -early spring or early fall when soils are moist
Brush land plowing -used to control brush up to 2′ in diameter
-effective on heavy to moderate stands of low non-sprouting brush
Best for hard soils and uneven , rough terrain -well suited for rocky rough, uneven terrain
-tolerate rocks and stumps -Does not control sprouting shrubs -2 passes required on heavy brush -Can be done any time
Offset disking -used to control brush on hard, dry, heavy soils
-used to break up soil compaction on reclamation areas and construction sites -effectively control light to moderate stands of sprouting brush
-heavy kill with one treatment
-good on light rocky soils Must be followed by seedling Early spring , late fall
Disk chaining Used on rough , heavy debris
Sites for seeded preparation Flexible enough to ride over stumps, rock and debris Spring, fall
Root racking Uprooting small brush; combining root from soil
Piling and staking uprooted trees -re-seeding require following treatment -not effective on wet heavy soils summer
Root plowing Best on heavy clay sub-soils, loosens surface
-used on sagebrush, rabbit brush and horse brush -leaves mulch or debris on soil surface to reduce evaporation and erosion Must seed after treatment unless rhizomatous grasses are present -limited to deep, relatively non-rocky soils Early spring, fall
Spring tooth harrow Used to work down rough plowing;
Control of weeds seedling; and seedbed preparation Provides a good seedbed Must seed after treatment Spring, fall
Chisel harrow -used to breakup soil Improves soil moisture
Doubles forage production
Stimulates native perennial grasses Early spring, late fall
Dixie harrow Used for treating brush and creating diversity in cover and age class Diversifies age class in brush
Improves herbaceous understory Up-root grass species that are already present
Can spread invasives
And rabbit brush May require 2 passes depending on how thick the brush is fall
other management options
Mechanical method Management use advantage disadvantage limitation season
Chemical Can be used to control undesirable species Effective in controlling or thinning brush Expensive
Possible hazard to humans, wildlife Depending on chemical and target species ,
Must done in time Varies generally late spring and summer
Fire Effective management tool for rejuvenating
-benefits for wildlife and livestock -reduce plant competition
-increase soil nutrients
-increase plant nutrient value
-increase forage production
-improves habitat diversity
Increase forb production
-rejuvenates sprouting shrubs/ trees -possible grazing deferment/rest before burning
-grazing deferment/rest after burning (plant establishment)
-damage to non-target plants
-possible increase in undesirable plants
(rabbit brush) Requires adequate conditions to achieve desired effect Spring, fall depending on objectives