Colo. youth attend Rangeland Management Forum |

Colo. youth attend Rangeland Management Forum

Ben Berlinger
Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management, Youth Activities Chair

The Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management was well represented at the 2017 High School Youth Forum held in St. George, Utah, February 1-4. The HSYF is an integral part of the SRM annual meeting. This year there were 23 delegates representing 11 of the SRM Sections. During the forum, high school youth from all parts of the western U.S. and Canada are invited to participate and interact among the various professionals and college students attending the meeting. Each of SRM’s 21 Sections is allowed to send up to three youth delegates to this program that provides a high-quality learning experience.

This year the Colorado Section SRM sponsored three delegates to St. George. Ben Baumgartner of Strasburg, Bree-ann Carwin of Pritchett, and Cody Wilson of Las Animas were selected to participate in the SRM Forum. All three delegates were chosen based on their exceptional achievements in rangeland management programs. Baumgartner was selected based on the high level of achievement at Camp Rocky, Colorado’s natural resources conservation summer camp. Carwin and Wilson were chosen based on their high individual scores in site judging and plant identification at the Eastern Colorado State FFA rangeland judging contest held in Burlington on Oct. 6, 2016.

The goals of the HSYF are to recognize youth for outstanding accomplishments in rangeland management activities and to provide young people the opportunity to discus rangelands, career options and meet with leaders in the field of range management. One requirement of the HSYF is that each delegate must write a paper and then present an illustrated talk on some aspect of rangeland conservation or management.

Baumgartner’s presentation was titled Giants of the High Plains.

Baumgartner talked about how grazing bison combined with a prescribed rotational management strategy is being used on the Plains Conservation Center just outside of the Denver metro-area. The management tool of managed bison grazing is helping to restore the prairie ecosystem through improving the ecological processes affecting rangeland health.

Carwin’s presentation was titled Do You Have a “Dog” in this Fight?

She talked about the pros and cons of prairie dogs and their effects on making sound rangeland management decisions. She discussed the biology of the and why they are considered a “keystone” ecological species. Carwin featured a discussion of how prairie dogs are fitting into the management of the rangeland on her family’s ranch near Pritchett.

Wilson’s presentation was titled Controlling the Juniper for Range Management.

In his paper Wilson wrote about how one-seed juniper has encroached on to some ecological sites, such as Loamy Plains, where it once was only a minor species. He highlighted the control options for controlling one-seed juniper and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

All three of their papers and power point presentations can be accessed at the CO Section’s website at For more information, contact Ben Berlinger (719) 469-3895, youth activities chairman, for more information about the SRM High School Youth Forum.

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