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County Offices

Lander County Programs

Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities

Riparian Management students on a riverbank The Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessment and Integrated Riparian Management class discusses the condition and management of the East Fork of the Walker River on the Rafter-7 Ranch. Photo by Sherm Swanson.

Program teaches about the physical functioning of riparian areas to effectively manage them for multiple uses

Relevance/Issue

As the most biologically diverse and the most frequently overused component of Nevada rangelands, riparian areas have attracted a great deal of management attention. Different groups, such as ranchers, recreationalists and federal agencies, have varying uses for the areas, which leads to a considerable need for educating and focusing people on proper management to allow the continued diversity of uses while preserving the areas. Generally, if riparian areas function properly, all land users benefit, and this provides a great opportunity for teaching about riparian restoration, including enhancement of water quality, habitat for listed or important species, forage for livestock, and water for agriculture. Repeatedly, riparian management is identified as a top need in natural resource-oriented needs assessments, especially in northern Nevada.

Response/What’s Been Done

Nevada Creeks and Communities is an interagency and interdisciplinary program. The program team taught workshops and submitted proposals; wrote articles and publications; and worked with landowners, land users, and interest groups and agencies.

2017 activities include:

  • Taught 77 students at three two-day Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessment for Integrated Riparian Management courses
  • Taught 30 students at a three-day riparian grazing management class
  • Worked with Environmental Protection Agency scientists from the Las Vegas Office of Research and Development on the use of riparian proper functioning condition assessments
  • Worked on pond and plug meadow restoration projects
  • Proposed using Riparian Multiple Indicator Monitoring to study the response of riparian areas after wildfire
  • Worked with the Shoesole Holistic Management Team to add riparian proper functioning condition concepts to their land management work. Efforts extended to Stewardship Alliance of Northeast Elko

Results/Impact and Partners

This program and the Creeks and Communities Team have been teaching about maintaining healthy riparian areas for 19 years, with more than 85 formal classes being taught.

In 2017, there were three students of the Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Assessment for Integrated Riparian Management courses who had taken the courses before and were using the information. Of the 77 students who took the class, 51 rated the following questions on a scale of 1 (disagree) to 5 (agree). Average scores were:

  • 4.67 for the workshop increased my knowledge of this topic
  • 4.25 for this workshop was worth my time
  • 4.01 for I plan to use information learned at this workshop
  • 4.45 for I would recommend this workshop to others

In addition, as a result of Proper Functioning Condition classes in Nevada, the EPA has embraced Proper Functioning Condition as a fundamentally useful tool for improving water quality, taught Proper Functioning Condition to tribes in California and Arizona, and hosted regional Proper Functioning Condition classes in Las Vegas.

The work of the Shoesole Holistic Management Team and the work of Carol Evans, BLM Elko fish biologist and active Team member, have been highlighted by several national awards.

Proper Functioning Condition concepts are also being integrated into numerous EPA publications and outside publications with lead authorship by EPA personnel with whom Extension collaborates.

Partners included Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saval Ranch, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Lincoln County Conservation District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, U.S. Forest Service, Newmont Mining, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Sawtooth National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Riparian Service, Shoesole Holistic Management Team, Carol Evans and Chris Ross.

IMPACTS




85

classes taught in 19 years



200+

students taught in 2017



“Because of a Creeks and Communities presentation at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, we had a rancher who wanted to change his approach and have both a healthy grazing practice and a healthy riparian area.”

— John McCann, forest hydrologist for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest


Programs Program Information

Bootstraps

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed Bootstraps, a high-risk youth program that helps teens return to school and/or gain meaningful work.

FIND Project

Lander County’s Future Industrial Needs Discovery (FIND) Project is a comprehensive business matching and sustainable development tool. It is a unique combination of processes that has brought together major stakeholders with community input to visualize and plan northern Lander County’s economic future.

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Small business development in rural Nevada

While small business development courses have been offered in Nevada’s urban and metropolitan areas (Washoe and Clark counties) for some time, the need for economic development in rural counties is even more critical. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offered business planning classes to existing and potential small-scale entrepreneurs through a series of interactive video and face-to-face classes.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
4-H Youth Development
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals