Welcome to the Art of Range, a podcast designed to produce education and conservation through conversation. Rangeland management practitioners are a colorful social group. While they represent the entire spectrum of political persuasion, socioeconomic class membership, geographic identity, and demographic characteristics, this passionate people group is united by love of land.
Most modern’s daily lives are filled with distraction and constant stimulation that prohibits us from engaging in sustained thought and, most importantly, what psychologists call generation. Generation is one’s brain building information on its own and not just passively receiving. This synthetic activity is crucial to learning — one must be an actor and not simply an observer. The communication medium of a podcast allows indulgence in unhurried thinking and generation. Further, a podcast which broadcasts a conversation between people – rather than a canned, tightly scripted message – has much greater potential to stimulate the kind of creative thinking that is badly needed to work through complex issues with biological and sociological components.
The Art of Range title plays on the idiom that range management is both art and science. Science is classically understood as a body of knowledge to be acquired. There is much we know about the physical and biological world and the numerous ecological interactions among organisms. An art, classically understood, is the practice, the application of a body of knowledge. Rangeland management is an art as well—those whose livelihoods depend on making good decisions over a lifetime require skill developed from continual learning. Doing things requires practice. One who has encyclopedic knowledge of welding or truck driving may not actually be any good at building a steel-framed shed or driving a tractor-trailer through a mountain pass. The Art of Range weekly podcast will help aspiring and established range managers learn from those who have mastered the art and understood the science.
In the first episode, Podcast Developer and Host Tip Hudson, Associate Professor at Washington State University Extension, interviews Dr. Karen Launchbaugh, Professor of Range Resources and Director of the University of Idaho Rangeland Center, about philosophies of grazing management and models of plant community dynamics. In the second episode, Dr. Launchbaugh and Tip discuss principles of grazing management and the merits or demerits of common rules of thumb used over the last 100 years. In episode three, to be released November 1, Tip interviews grazing consultant Floyd Reed (retired USFS Range Supervisor) about landscape change over time and paired photography publications from around the West, including the one he and grazing consultant Dave Bradford (retired USFS) co-authored “When the Grass Stood Stirrup-High”.
You can subscribe to the podcast through your favorite podcasting app (search for “Art of Range”) or listen on the website at artofrange.com. On the website you’ll also find show notes, full transcripts of the interviews, and an invitation to share feedback. A new episode will be released every two weeks. Contact Tip Hudson with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.