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Programs

Natural Resources Programs

Eagles & Agriculture

Two eagles standing with cattle in a field Two eagles share resources with cattle during a photography contest as part of Eagles & Agriculture. Photo by Dwayne Hicks, as part of a photography contest.

Multiday Eagles & Ag celebration helps people learn about agriculture and the benefits it provides to wildlife and the community

Relevance/Issue

The face of agriculture in Douglas County is changing, as land is divided and ranches are parceled off. Public understanding of the values agriculture provides our communities is critical to agricultural sustainability.

Although many Douglas County residents enjoy the rural character of the area, many complain about some aspects of it, such as dust, flies, odors and slow-moving farm vehicles. Farmers and ranchers often find themselves defending their industry, and many ranchers are tempted to sell to land developers or prospective homebuyers lured to an attractive valley of green pastures, livestock and wildlife, with the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada. Although the face of agriculture in Douglas County is changing as land is subdivided, public understanding of the value agriculture provides our communities is critical to its sustainability.

Response/What’s Been Done

Eagles & Agriculture is a multiday celebration of agriculture to teach about agriculture and the benefits it provides to wildlife and the community. The program, a collaborative effort that began in 2003, encourages the conservation and prosperity of ranching in western Nevada, teaches participants about wildlife and the history of agriculture in Carson Valley, and creates an agritourism model that enhances the profitability of local farming and ranching businesses. The four-day 2017 event included an opening reception with live birds; four large Ranch & Eagles tours visiting five ranches; tours of seven other ranches; four smaller 20-passenger bus tours for birders; the 50-passenger bus Owl Prowl tour with a falcon flight demonstration; the Falconer’s Dinner with guest speakers and live birds; a photography workshop; a nature hike and a photo contest. Speakers included University of Nevada, Reno Geography Professor Paul Starrs and several falconers with their birds of prey.

Results/Impact and Partners

Since 2003, 4,600 participants have been educated through the Eagles & Agriculture Program. In 2017, approximately 400 people participated, with some attending more than one day. Impacts of Eagles & Agriculture were measured using an electronic evaluation instrument, with 97 of the 400 participants responding. At least 84 participants, 87 percent of respondents, reported an increase in knowledge:

  • 84 (87 percent) indicated gaining a better understanding of Carson Valley agriculture.
  • 80 (82 percent) indicated having a greater understanding of the benefits agriculture provides to our society.
  • 80 (82 percent) indicated knowing more about the importance of habitat for bird life.
  • 83 (86 percent) indicated having a greater appreciation for the role agriculture plays in providing wildlife habitat.

Partners included Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lahontan Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, local farmers and ranchers.

IMPACTS




4,600

participants educated since 2013



$275,000

in estimated annual revenue brought into the local economy



“Most of us eat steak but we don’t understand all the processes that happen before we take the first bite. The ranchers helped us understand this and the Senator especially answered all our questions in a way we could understand.”

— Program participant


Contact: Steve Lewis, 775-782-9960

Natural Resources Programs

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.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Eagles & Agriculture

Two eagles standing with cattle in a field

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.

Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities

Riparian Management students on a riverbank

Invasive Species (Weeds)

Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Nevada rangelands and lawns. Hundreds of Weed Warriors, Woad Warriors, and other volunteers have been trained by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) personnel in how to spot, control and eradicate noxious weeds.

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages

Issue:

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

NEMO Nevada, Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials

The NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) program was originated in Connecticut and has spread nationwide. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers the NEMO program in Washoe County. The premise is that improvements in land-use planning can result in protection of water resources, which can negate the need to fix problems after the fact by applying best management practices. The program will help land-use decision-makers understand the nature of the nonpoint source pollution problem and its impact on their lives, towns and natural resource base. This enables them to plan for growth and development while addressing water quality issues through educated land use decisions.

Nevada Naturalist

Women kneeling near animal tracks on a trail

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Nevada Youth Range Camp

High school students looking at sagebrush during a snowfall

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.

Walker Lake: Increasing Knowledge through Education

Walker Lake, located in central Nevada, is a natural resource of interest to diverse and often competing groups. Walker Lake: Increasing Knowledge Through Education, is a community-based program to educate adults and youth about Walker Lake issues.

Water Wise

Water Wise is a new, online educational program that complements University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s local watershed protection, storm water protection and land-use decision-maker education projects (NEMO-Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials).

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training

The Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training Program is held several times a year, usually in late winter or spring. This eight-hour, two-day introductory-level training introduces participants to the principles of Integrated Weed Management and focuses on improving ability to identify noxious weeds of local importance. A small fee is charged for program materials, and the class can be videoconferenced to other locations upon request. Each year, several dozen people go through the training and become certified Weed Warriors. Pesticide applicators receive six Continuing Education Credits for attending this course. Each year in May during a community event in the Truckee Meadows, Weed Warrior volunteers help rid parks and riverfront areas of invasive thistles.