Friday, February 24, 2023

Rangeland and Fire


Range Management Advisory Committee – RMAC & Co-host, Cal Poly Swanton Pacific Ranch

These presentations are available due to a partnership between the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Range Management Advisory Committee and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Click to learn more about the trainers.

CAL FIRE and the State of California are ramping up resource investments for increasing fuel treatments to manage high fuel loads and reduce wildfire risk. Using livestock has significant potential for managing combustible vegetation. A variety of funding sources are available to support wildfire prevention projects and activities in and near fire threatened communities that focus on increasing the protection of people, structures, and communities. In this workshop, CALFIRE, UC Extension advisors, and grazing managers will offer guidelines for developing fuel reduction project applications utilizing grazing through Request for Proposal (RFP) processes, and for developing successful grazing agreements.   

Kristina Wolf: Range Management Advisory Committee Overview. Dr. Kristina M. Wolf, Environmental Scientist for the Board of Forestry & Fire Protection (‘Board’), manages the activities and business of the Range Management Advisory Committee (RMAC), a statutory committee which advises the Board of Forestry on rangeland resources, along with being a Certified Range Manager (#122) in the State of California. She addresses range policy, resource needs, and issues surrounding rangeland resources on working rangeland landscapes throughout California.

Marc Horney: Making your Case: Important Elements to Consider in Developing Proposals for Funding Grazing Treatments for Fuels Removal. Marc Horney has been professor of Rangeland Ecology & Management in the Animal Science Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo since fall, 2009. Prior to that he was California Area 1 Range Management Specialist for the USDA-NRCS, and member of NRCS’ Klamath Basin Watershed Team. 

Stephanie Larson: How to Implement Grazing into a Vegetation Management Plan.  Stephanie Larson, PhD, CRM, County Director and Livestock Range Management Advisor, UCCE Sonoma and Marin Counties along with being the Livestock and Range Management Advisor. She addresses climate change, food production and ecological and economical management of working landscapes.

Marshall Turbeville: Grazing to reduce wildfire intensity, rate of spread, and resistance to control. Marshall Turbeville is a CAL FIRE Battalion Chief in the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit.  He grew up in rural Northern California on a ranch with vineyards and grazing.  He began working for the CAL FIRE in 1995 as a seasonal fire fighter and accepted a full time position in 2000.

Rancher Panel: Grazier perspectives on developing and applying for grazing projects

Clayton Koopmann, a 5th generation California rancher and owner/manager of Walking C Livestock.  Walking C Livestock strives to provide science-based conservation grazing on public and private lands within California’s Central Coast Region including the Bay Area.  Clayton is a managing partner in Koopmann Family Beef.

Ryan Nielsen is part of a 5th generation ranching family in California that has operations from the Bay Area to Oregon. Ryan has a unique background that includes habitat restoration and mitigation for species of concern in addition to managing grazing on land use types.


California Rangeland Conservation Coalition (CRCC) & Co-host, University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources (UCANR)

WELCOME, Bre Owens, CRCC Chair and Paul Starrs, moderator

Paul Starrs: Professor Paul Starrs taught cultural and historical geography at the University of Nevada, in Reno. He publishes a variety of works associated with the geography of the so-called “New West.”  He is currently a member of the Rangeland Management Advisory Committee. 


Robert and Jaime Irwin along with their kids run Kaos Sheep Outfit, a targeted grazing company in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa Counties.  They graze sheep in cropping systems as well as around Home Owner Associations and golf courses to reduce fire fuels, improve soil health and produce meat and wool.  They graze with the intention of being sustainable and a mutualistic relationship between grazing and the communities they graze.  Facebook: Kaos Sheep Outfit

GRAZING EFFECTS ON FUEL LOADS & FIRE BEHAVIORFelix Ratcliff, Rangeland Conservation Science. 

“Felix Ratcliff is Principal and Senior Rangeland Scientist at LDFord, Consultants in Rangeland Conservation Science. In addition to his recent research with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources on livestock grazing and wildfire behavior, his professional work focuses on conservation-oriented planning, monitoring, and research in grazed rangelands. You can learn more about his company here:”


Dr. Stephanie Larson is the Livestock and Range Advisor for Sonoma and Marin Counties, providing educational and research based information on animal science and range management to agricultural producers, agencies and general public. She promotes local agriculture and rangeland management, especially related to working landscapes for the production of food and ecosystem services. She has created Match. Graze as well as working on projects to map vegetation in regards to fire fuels. 

Theresa Becchetti is the Livestock and Range Advisor for San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, sharing resource information and conducting field research on the land. She has been co-coordinating the Summit for many years.

GRAZE TO REDUCE THE BLAZE PANEL. Ranchers & agencies share how they use grazing to reduce fire risks with livestock.

Allison Rofe, East Bay Regional Park District consists of 73 parks in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties spanning 125,000 acres.  They manage these large landscapes with livestock to manage and preserve natural and cultural resources for the East Bay while also controlling fire fuel loads in the Wildland Urban Interface of their parks.

Liz Reikowski, Reikowski Ranch

Claudio Nunez, Santa Lucia Conservancy.

Gareth Fisher, Vaqueros Livestock

PHOTO CONTEST RESULTS. Point Blue Conservation Science, Sponsor

MUNCH THAT GRASS: BIOMASS REDUCTIONS REDUCE FIRE HAZARDS.    Matthew Shapero, UCCE and Roxanne Foss, Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting.

Matthew Shapero is the Livestock & Range Advisor in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and provides locally based extension, education, and applied research focused primarily on the interactions of livestock production systems with rangeland ecosystems, including wildlife habitat, invasive plants, wildland fire, prescribed fire, soil health, and watershed health.  

Roxanne Foss is a Senior Ecologist for Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting.  She is an ecologist with a robust understanding of science-based adaptive land management, field survey protocols, and ecological principles. Her project diversity includes grassland mapping and rapid assessments, riparian restoration, rare plant population modeling, and biological preserve monitoring. 


The Range Management Advisory Committee was statutorily created by Section 741 of the Public Resources Code of the State of California to advise the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture on rangeland resource issues.


We hope to see you at another event later this year!

Most presentations will be published on the website after this event.