Eddie Alford, SRM Director
I am beginning my third year serving on the Board of Directors for SRM and each year my goal is to focus on a topic which might spark a new idea or innovation that will help people in our profession; whether it is in academia, administration, research, consulting or on the ground management. Unfortunately I don’t have a new topic as I write this, but two topics that keep coming up in my mind are 1) the importance of rangelands and proper management, and 2) membership in our organization. I know you are thinking there is nothing new with these topics, we should all be well aware of them. Clayton Marlow and Jill Burkhardt just wrote an excellent article on the benefits of membership in the winter 2017 Newsletter. What I want to do is tag on to the work Clayton and Jill did, and talk about why membership is important to me.
First, I think there is a hidden factor in being part of an organization that we might not always be aware of. Maybe that factor is the motivation, support and synergy that take place when people work together. For example: I can’t imagine training to be a competitive marathoner, or to be an Olympic swimmer training solo. You can buy books and tapes from the best coaches in the world, or even work directly with the best coach; but athletes are just better when they are fully submerged in their program and have direct contact with other athletes, trainers and coaches.
I think this same hidden factor takes place in the Society for Range Management. Although we have incredible resources available to us through research, publications, and agency training, we are still better if we are actively involved in our organization, The Society for Range Management. I can’t imagine working in range management in administration, research, academia, consulting or on the ground management without being an active member of the Society for Range Management.
I personally have learned more than I ever could have imagined by interacting with officers, other BOD members and committee members during the past 2 years, and I don’t think new technology in communications will replace the need for being an active member in SRM. The hidden factor is just not there without being an active member of SRM.