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Shapero Honored by Society for Range Management with Outstanding Young Professional Award

SPARKS, NEVADA – Matthew Shapero received the Outstanding Young Professional Award at the Society for Range Management’s 77th Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nevada last week. The Award is presented by the Society to an individual member or couple who have demonstrated extraordinary potential and promise as range management professionals.  This award is presented as an encouragement for outstanding performance by young men and women entering the profession of range management.

Matthew Shapero is a leader in rangeland research and Extension. He is part of an exciting group of researchers working on California’s most critical rangeland issue: wildfire. Shapero and his collaborators have produced a startlingly effective tsunami of research and outreach programs to fit the state’s needs. A 2022 paper shows that cattle alone, in reporting counties, remove 11.6 billion pounds of flammable fine dry fuels from the California landscape. This work is a logical progression from his work in vegetation dynamics and invasive plant control.  This work was recently shared with the California State Board of Forestry and CalFire. 

Shapero has published regularly about fire since 2017, with Post-Fire Resources for Ranchers, through a very timely 2020 publication titled Benefits of Cattle Grazing for Reducing Fire Fuels and Fire. He works with rancher groups on Prescribed Burn Associations and leads field tours to learn about fire effects and prevention. Shapero is a promoter of both large and small ruminants and their application for wildfire hazard reduction. Before he returned to the University for a master’s degree, he had both sheep and cattle businesses, and today he works closely with targeted grazers.

Matthew works avidly with ranchers and landowners and brought one of his collaborators to a meeting of the California Rangelands Conservation Coalition in 2018 to speak about his experience with wildfire. Last year, Matthew and a panel of collaborations, including landowners, grazing managers, private consultants, and others from Cooperative Extension presented on the research, outreach, and management they were doing with respect to fire. His presentations are always well done and enthusiastically received. 

Shapero has already done much for SRM. As Section President Elect, he sponsored the first Native American-SRM section meeting on “Partnerships for Conservation and Management of Rangelands” a couple of years ago. It was a milestone event, followed by a 2022 meeting in Hawaii, where half the speakers were native Hawaiian. 

For the tremendous contributions to the science and management of rangeland ecosystems he has made, it is with great honor the Society of Range Management recognized Matthew Shapero with the Outstanding Young Professional Award.

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