Fact Sheet No. 2:
Rangeland Watershed Program
The Range Management Advisory Committee to the State Board of Forestry has identified water quality protection as a major rangeland issue and has assumed a lead role in presenting a program for developing and implementing a Water Quality Management Plan on private rangelands in California. The UC Cooperative Extension Service and USDA Soil Conservation Service have the responsibility for delivery of education, applied research and technical assistance programs that facilitate water quality management planning. Cooperative Extension and the Soil Conservation Service will jointly deliver this Rangeland Watershed Program. The goal of the Rangeland Watershed Program is to develop public understanding of proper rangeland watershed management, to inform rangeland owners and managers how clean water legislation affects private rangeland management and to facilitate development and implementation of a Rangeland Water Quality Management Plan in California.
- Acquire, organize, and synthesize currently available and newly emerging information.
- Disseminate information using time-tested Extension education methods
- Develop watershed management demonstration areas.
- Provide organizational and technical support to water quality management planning at the state, regional, and local levels.
- Deliver educational programs to expanded audiences - landowners, state and county agencies, resource professionals, and conservation organizations.
Applied Research Objectives
- Develop minimum watershed monitoring criteria to standardize parameters and methods, thus facilitating comparisons and interpretations between projects and locations.
- Conduct baseline monitoring of water quality and associated watershed parameters.
- Monitor the long-term effectiveness of management measures (BMPs) on demonstration watersheds and riparian areas.
- Validate erosion prediction models (USLE, MUSLE, WEPP) using monitoring data collected from demonstration watersheds.
Technical Assistance Objectives
- Active participation in the Rangeland Water Quality Plan Development Task Force.
- Collection and analysis of soils and vegetation data to identify potential statewide water quality problems.
- Develop statewide Field Office Technical Guide procedures for writing and reviewing state level practice standards and specification.
- Field office participation in workshops to develop local management measures (best management practices).
- Update the Field Office Technical Guide as a basis for management measures (best management practices).
- Conduct local Conservation Planning workshops to assist with planning and individual technical assistance.
- Support activities of Resource Conservation Districts addressing water quality management.
Developing Management Measures: The Soil Conservation Service will describe management measures (best management practices) using their existing technical guides. They will conduct a review of these management measures by appropriate agencies and landowners groups. Standards and specifications will be reviewed locally as part of the local water quality management planning process to ensure ecological and economic feasibility.
Education Program: The Rangeland Watershed Program will develop fact sheets, news releases, training packages, and other media that will be used for staff training, landowner and public education programs and public policy background information. Information packages will include policy and technical information to facilitate water quality management planning on rangeland watersheds and their associated streams and riparian areas.
Demonstrations: There are many watershed and riparian management projects throughout the state developed by various agencies and local groups. Cooperative Extension and the Soil Conservation Service are cooperators on several of these projects. New projects will be developed in response to local and regional priorities. These projects will be used to demonstrate rangeland watershed problems, solutions, and monitoring methods. The program will coordinate the flow of information and activities among the demonstration projects.
Applied Research: This program will develop research needs and pursue joint research with the Agricultural Experiment Station, Agricultural Research Service, and other agencies. Development and testing of rangeland watershed monitoring methods to establish baseline conditions and document changes due to management and natural phenomena has been identified as a research need. Development and testing of erosion prediction models for the purpose of disseminating information from local situations to a wider array of similar situations is an additional need.
W. James Clawson, Extension Range Specialist (916) 752-3455
Melvin R. George, Extension Range & Pasture Specialist (916) 752-1720
Department of Agronomy & Range Science, University of California, Davis, Ca 95616-8515
Soil Conservation Service:
Leonard Jolley, State Range Conservationist (916) 757-8254
USDA Soil Conservation Service, 2121 C Second Street, Suite 102, Davis, CA 95616