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Title: Ranching sustainability analysis

Author: Larsen, Royce; Tietje, William; Striby, Karl;

Date: 2015

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-251. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 251-256

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: California oak woodland creates a landscape of renowned beauty, providing the public with essential natural resource services and economic values through ranching. Ranchers however, come under intense pressure and scrutiny from the public to demonstrate stewardship of the land they manage. The solution often chosen to address these concerns is, simply, more regulations. Regulations impose a financial and philosophical burden on California ranchers; in fact, they threaten the very existence of ranching. This paper discusses the development and on-going implementation of the Ranching Sustainability Analysis System (RSA). The RSA is a self-assessment process that guides the rancher through a series of questions that cover social, economic, and natural resource aspects of 11 ranch-management categories. Ranch scores can be submitted to a confidential database. Anonymous summary scores allow ranchers to compare the operation to their peers and to track sustainability progress over time. Essential components for the ongoing implementation of the RSA have been the strong support of an ad hoc committee of ranchers, delivery through a series of workshops, San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen's Association support, and voluntary participation. Although in the early stages of implementation, the RSA has potential to aid private landowners throughout California in implementing and demonstrating sustainable ranching practices.

Keywords: oak woodland, land stewardship, ranching sustainability analysis

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Larsen, Royce; Tietje, William; Striby, Karl 2015. Ranching sustainability analysis. In: Standiford, Richard B.; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. cords. Proceedings of the seventh California oak symposium: managing oak woodlands in a dynamic world. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-251. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 251-256.


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