Increased climate variability will increase drought severity and frequency on western US rangelands. Drought creates both production and legal risks because ranches typically rely on federal lands for 50-90% of their forage, and policies for these 200M acres of federal rangeland dictate responses regarding herd reduction, reduced access to forage, and a lengthy approval process to change infrastructure and management. In Arizona, the patchy spatial distribution of drought means that some ranches experience drought while others do not. Because the spatial resolution of drought information is too coarse to represent this difference among ranches, we held three workshops and developed two online tools to support the deployment of rain gauges for ranchers and federal managers in Arizona to more precisely detect drought at the ranch-scale. Workshop participants indicated these new precipitation monitoring tools will help reduce production and legal risk by focusing responses on only drought-affected ranches.
Number of Participants: 60
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REPORTS & EVALUATIONS
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