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International seminar on livestock grazing and management promotes sustainable rangelands

Seminar participants explore a conservation easement area at Lava Lake Ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho. Forest Service photo.

IDAHO — The International Programs office organized an International Seminar on Livestock and Grazing Management from July 15 to 29 in Idaho and Nevada. Fifteen participants from 11 countries, representing government agencies, universities, non-government organizations, and U.S. Embassies, learned and interacted on a broad spectrum of issues related to rangeland management, including rangeland ecology, best management practices, and stakeholder engagement. Participants came from

Forest Service experts from the Intermountain Regional Office and the Sawtooth National Forest provided resource persons and helped host the group. Participants also met with other federal and state agencies, NGOs, University of Nevada, local tribes, and private landowners. One of the highlights of the seminar was the group’s visit to Lava Lake, a sheep and cattle ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ranchers Kathleen and Brian Bean raise grass-fed livestock while simultaneously protecting the land through partnerships with The Nature Conservancy and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and also working closely with other federal agencies including the Forest Service. This case study demonstrated how ranchers can profitably produce high-quality meat and pursue sustainable and progressive grazing and land management practices. 

Globally, rangelands provide significant economic, environmental, and food resources. Yet overgrazing and poor land management can lead to degraded lands, decreasing watershed health and all the benefits people can derive from rangelands. Through the sharing and promotion of best practices, this seminar helps sustain the significant ecosystem services rangelands provide around the world.

International seminars are a way to share best practices from the U.S., promote global dialogue, and deepen relationships with partner countries.  The International Seminar on Livestock Grazing and Management is one of ten international seminars organized by the FS International Programs office every year. More information on these seminars is available here.