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Programs

Natural Resources 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


Natural Resources Programs

Programs Program Information

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.