UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences

California Ranch Stewardship Project: Adaptive Management for Profit and Rangeland Health


Golden Trout Wilderness

California’s rangelands encompass a variety of diverse agricultural land resources across the state. These working landscapes are a critical resource, providing  food, fiber, clean water, nutrient cycling, and recreation, to name a few. Traditionally, rangeland science and management have focused on agricultural production, with the goal of securing the nation’s food supply; however, society is placing growing importance on other benefits, such as water quality and wildlife habitat. Balancing multiple conservation and agricultural production goals on working rangelands in an economically realistic manner will be a key challenge in an already variable and changing environment.

Wild Flowers on Rangeland


The California Ranch Stewardship Project (CRSP)—a collaboration between UC Davis and University of California Cooperative Extension—is an integral component of a collaborative effort addressing rangeland management for multiple goals (Grazing Management and Ecosystem Services). CRSP will couple in-person interviews with ranchers and rangeland managers and site-specific measurements designed to measure on-the-ground outcomes of rangeland management practices.



Cross State TransectsThe California Ranch Stewardship Project seeks to:

  • Improve connections between research and policy with how decisions get made on-the-ground.
  • Link decision-making to agricultural and ecological outcomes.
  • Connect rancher knowledge and research to provide insights into strategies to adapt to future changes.
  • Compile the knowledge and expertise of experienced ranchers and rangeland managers.
Cabin in High Sierra Rangeland
Rangeland & Urban Development Interface ©Sheila Barry

Starting Spring 2013 (and continuing through Winter 2013), we will conduct approximately 60 on-ranch interviews across California. Interviews will take approximately 2-4 hours and focus on questions regarding enterprise goals, management perspectives and strategies, and general operation characteristics. Follow-up field surveys will be done in collaboration with interested managers in 2014.

If you are interested in participating or you would like more information, please contact Leslie Roche, lmroche@ucdavis.edu or by phone at 530-902-2547.


Cattle Grazing Fence Line
Rangeland Stakeholder Group
Future Ranchers Istockphoto
USDA National Institue of Food and Agriculture


© 2011-2012 UC Davis | California Rangeland Watershed Laboratory | One Shields Ave | Davis, CA 95616 | Last update: January 29, 2014