The United States Government holds 55.7 million acres of land in trust for Native Americans, of which much is considered to be rangeland. Native vegetation on the rangelands provide habitat for native wildlife and livestock, and provide other resources needed for a high quality life for the Native Americans. Dynamic and high quality management of rangelands is essential for the success of the Native American communities. Successful management of the rangelands, which includes a wide variety of resources, must not be focused on a single objective but rather on achieving a wide variety of habitat objectives that best meet the social, cultural, economic, and physical needs of the tribes.
The Society for Range Management’s (SRM) mission is to provide leadership for the stewardship of rangelands based on sound ecological principles and to promote the professional development and continuing education of individuals who work with rangelands and are committed to their sustainable use. The Native American Rangeland Advisory Committee’s (NARAC) mission is to serve as a facilitator to provide necessary stakeholders with a healthy environment to develop new approaches that are appropriate for Native American culture, social issues, traditional uses of plants and wildlife, and land tenure patterns, while meeting regulatory (tribal and federal) standards. The expertise provided by SRM members can support tribal initiatives with important scientific methods and training in range management. SRM will also take an active role in partnering with tribes and agencies to train students in range management, while being respectful for the inclusion of tribal traditional and cultural values.
Recognizing the numerous changes that have and are occurring in the management and use of the Native American rangelands, the Society is collaborating with tribal partners and federal agencies to implement a comprehensive strategy that will address a number of critical disconnects that impact the sustainable management of rangelands in Indian Country. We address areas such as recruitment, education, capacity building, and outreach through sound science and strong consideration of tribal traditional and cultural values through the following objectives: 1) “Train the Trainer” tribal rangeland management workshop series (Southwest, Northwest, and Central Plains); 2) rangeland management toolkits for outreach in indigenous land-based communities; 3) assessment of a potentially accredited online soil and rangeland ecology course for tribal students; and 4) the development of an inter-tribal informational website on rangeland management.
Delane Atcitty, Co-Chair and Workshop Co-leader (Navajo-Taos Tribal Member, USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs)
Nick Padilla, Co-Chair (Isleta Pueblo Tribal Member, USDA-Forest Service)
Diana Doan-Crider, NARAC and Workshop Coordinator (Texas A&M University)
Tiffany Whiteclay Birdinground, Native American Student Coordinator (Crow Tribal Member, Little Big Horn College)
Alvin Whitehair, Workshop Co-leader (Navajo Tribal Member, USDA-Forest Service)
Doug Tolleson, Workshop Co-leader (University of Arizona)
Jess Peterson, Executive Vice President, Society for Range Management
Roy Roath, NARAC Liaison to Council