Volume 17, Issue 1
Rashford, Benjamin S.; Scott, Abby Mellinger; Smutko, L. Steven; Nagler, Amy
Conservation easements are a common tool for protecting important habitat and migration corridors from development across increasingly fragmented western rangelands. Spatially-explicit land market transaction data to evaluate and target easements, however, is sparse or non-existent in many western states. We demonstrate a propensity score matching (PSM) model using available assessment data to estimate unobservable future residential values and probability of habitat loss associated with agricultural parcels. Combined with available parcel-level biological benefits data, the PSM modelÕs estimates of residential value and probability of loss can be used to target conservation easements cost-effectively.
Torell, Gregory L.; Lee, Katherine D.; Steele, Caitriana
Windh, Jessica L.; Ritten, John P.; Derner, Justin D.; Paisley, Steven I.; Lee, Brian P.
Ashwell, Nicolas Quintana; Maher, Anna T.; Tanaka, John A.; Ritten, John P.; Maczko, Kristie A.; Dyer, Holly; Kirkpatrick, Holly; Roberts, Kendall; Hilken, Thomas
Rangeland management practitioners typically agree that prescribed grazing practices have a positive impact on rangeland health with positive implications for ranching productivity. The economic impact of implementing these practices, however, is insufficiently explored. This article assesses the impact of two variants of NRCS-promoted prescribed grazing programs on the profitability of four ranch types in Northern Montana. Preliminary results suggest that outcomes are highly dependent on initial ranch conditions and the level and type of financial incentives. Ranches with large tracts of deeded land and insufficient water developments stand to gain the most from adopting prescribed grazing practices.
Lewin, Paul A.; Wulfhorst, J.D.; Rimbey, Neil R.; Jensen, K. Scott
Peck, Dannele; Derner, Justin; Parton, William; Hartman, Melannie; Fuchs, Brian
Highly variable precipitation in western U.S. rangelands makes it challenging for ranchers to match animal demand to forage supply. Flexible stocking can enhance matching, thereby reducing losses during drought and increasing profit during wet years. Yet the benefits of flexible stocking depend on the availability of highly accurate and applicable seasonal climate outlooks. The availability and skill of seasonal climate outlooks is summarized, revealing shortcomings that make flexible stocking less practical and less beneficial. A new grassland productivity forecast, Grass-Cast, can facilitate flexible stocking by translating climate outlooks into more applicable summer forage outlooks, and its strengths and limitations are described.