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Maura Bennett The Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative holds forum in Durango
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: August 16, 2017

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The Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative is a coalition public and private organizations working to address conservation issues at the landscape scale. It recently conducted assessments of the Four Corners resources including, one significant to ranchers - Pinon-Juniper forests.

“How do we better manage Pinyon Juniper to not only address natural resources but from an ag cattle production standpoint. How can we better manage sagebrush from a ranching grassland perspective. As well as forest and fires and sedimentation. We’re also looking at [vulnerability assessments] are going to help us identify where water retention structures could be used to help retain water on the landscape which is beneficial for forage production.”

Kevin Johnson of the Fish and Wildlife Service is the coordinator.

Piñon-juniper woodlands account for just over 5 million acres, about 21 percent of the state’s forested lands according to the state Forest Service. Piñon-juniper forests have long been important for fuel, fence posts, pine nuts, forage for livestock and watershed protection.

The SLRCC is also assessing risks to Mule Deer and Elk, and Native Fish and riparian systems. Land managers, planners, Tribes as well as private landowners are encouraged to attend a Durango workshop at the end of August to discuss management priorities and develop innovative ways to deal with resources challenges. For more information go to southernrockiesllc.org.

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