Society for Range Management gathers in Boise for 76th annual meeting
BOISE, Idaho — Nearly 2,000 range enthusiasts varying from agency personnel to students and ranch managers to industry professionals experienced “Rangelands Without Borders” during the Society for Range Management’s 76th Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho, in early February.
“I think the Boise meeting was a wonderful success,” newly installed President Barry Perryman said. “As we look back in the coming decade or so, I think people will remember the Boise 2023 meeting as one of those highlights in their careers.”
Thanks to the presenting sponsors, the United States Forest Service and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the conference featured nearly 70 sessions on subjects including the carbon market, invasive species, wildlife management, targeted grazing, and more, and many sessions saw capacity crowds with attendees joining both in person and 300 tuning in virtually via live stream.
Truly embodying this year’s theme of “rangelands without borders” and meeting the needs of SRM’s international participants, the kickoff plenary session was translated in three languages, as were two other sessions organized by the International Affairs Committee. Not only catering to members from around the globe, the annual meeting also featured events unique to certain age groups, particularly networking opportunities for students and a job fair in which three major land management agencies, including USFS, NRCS, and Bureau of Land Management, and a dozen private and public companies found potential future employees.
When attendees weren’t partaking in sessions or networking events, there were 140 poster presentations to stroll through along with an extensive trade show featuring more than 60 vendors. Several tours of local Boise attractions drew participants out of the Boise Centre to explore the city’s surrounding landscape.
Wrapping up the four-day event was the Annual Business Meeting where new officers were installed and the much-anticipated Awards Ceremony where 13 professionals were honored and student competition winners were announced. Marking their dedication and service to rangeland science and management were the most prestigious awards with the presentation of the Frederic G. Renner Award to Clenton Owensby, the W.R. Chapline Land Stewardship Award to Jenny Pluhar, and the W.R. Chapline Research Award to Samuel Fuhlendorf. The student competitions saw winners from across the globe as well with universities from Canada and Mexico scoring top placements along with several from the United States.
SRM’s 2022 President Karen Launchbaugh passed the gavel to Barry Perryman of Nevada, Karen Hickman of Oklahoma became the first vice president, and Jeff Goodwin of Texas filled the role of second vice president. After their service to the board of directors, John Walker and Susan Edinger-Marshall were replaced by Chuck Butterfield of Wyoming, Julie Elliot of Colorado, and Tipton Hudson of Washington.
“SRM has a bright future, and all our members can play an important and relevant role,” President Perryman said, noting projects in the year ahead to include a capital campaign taking form, an ecosystem service position statement, and a leadership initiative gaining momentum.
Next February, SRM will convene in Reno, Nev., for their 77th Annual Meeting.