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Moving Forward During the New “Normal”: Socially Distant, But Still Working Together

It’s hard to believe it’s been only two months since so many of us were together at the 2020 SRM Annual Meeting in Denver. It was a great meeting; kudos to the Colorado and Wyoming Sections for their hard work and leadership! They implemented several new strategies in the meeting format, and I’ve heard a lot of really positive comments about them.

Life looks very different for all of us today. Most of us are sequestered in our homes, avoiding physical contact with others outside our family groups. This “social distancing” or, as I prefer, “physical distancing” is getting old, even for introverts like me. But, while it may look different, important work IS getting done. Society for Range Management members are still actively engaged in our work advancing knowledge, improving management, and providing information on our important and beloved rangelands. College and university faculty have shifted, in record time, from familiar face-to-face classroom teaching to providing instruction online. Many are creating innovative lessons to provide substitutes for essential field labs. Information on sound rangeland management principles is being dispersed by agency, Extension, and consulting company personnel through webinars, online meetings, calls, and other distance methods. And the always important on-the-ground rangeland managers, especially ranchers, continue to work every day to manage our valuable natural resources for the future.

The Society for Range Management is also continuing its work via remote meetings. Committees and Task Groups are moving forward on their agenda items, and the SRM Officers, Directors and Staff members meet monthly by conference call to continue the work of the Society. Two Committees that I work with, the Finance and the Endowment Development Fund Committees, are monitoring the SRM investments, working closely with our financial management advisors at Merrill Lynch. As you know, the markets have been very volatile over the last several weeks; SRM has, however, maintained an investment strategy with moderate to moderately conservative long-term goals. We will see the value of our investments fluctuate over the next several months, however, I have great confidence that the members of these Committees and our financial advisors will work together to maintain those long-term goals to the benefit of SRM

Many of us live near some of the rangelands that we, and those who preceded us, have worked so hard to maintain. These are great places to go to reconnect with wildlands, breathe fresh air, and reset our attitudes. I hope that each of you is able to spend some time each week wandering in your favorite rangelands. Stay safe and well.

Patricia Johnson, SRM Director

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