Skip to main content

Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM)

The overarching goal of this study is to examine how science can be conducted in a real-world manner (i.e., at ranch-level scales with manager involvement) to evaluate the effectiveness of adaptive grazing management for both production and conservation goals. In particular, we seek to examine how grazing management can be implemented in a manner that responds to current and changing rangeland conditions, incorporates active learning, and makes decisions based on quantitative, repeatable measurements collected at multiple spatial and temporal scales. To this end, ARS scientists and university collaborators have developed an adaptive grazing management experiment being implemented at the Central Plains Experimental Range in northeastern Colorado. A Stakeholder Group of 11 persons was selected to represent ranchers, public land managers, conservation organizations and nongovernmental organizations. This Stakeholder Group met in September of 2012 and January and September of 2013 to 1) choose and prioritize outcomes desired from this experiment, 2) determine criteria and/or triggers for movement of livestock among pastures in an adaptive manner, and 3) select appropriate monitoring data requirements needed for feedback to determine if management is achieving desired outcomes. This experiment has now been implemented from 2014 to the present. The CARM experiment is part of the ARS Long-term agroecosystem research network.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: USDA-ARS Central Plains Experimental Range, Nunn, Colorado, USA

Project Status: Active - not recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Audio or video recording, Data analysis, Data entry, Finding entities, Geolocation, Identification, Learning, Measurement, Observation, Photography, Problem solving, Site selection and/or description, Specimen/sample collection,

Start Date: 01/01/2012

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

USDA logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor: Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Fields of Science: Animals, Archaeology and cultural, Biology, Birds, Chemistry, Climate and weather, Computers and technology, Ecology and environment, Education, Food, Geography, Nature and outdoors, Social Science

Intended Outcomes: Solving high priority problems as defined by customers through explicit integration and participation in all aspects of management-science co-production research. Efforts are truly integrative and present substantial opportunities for enhanced learning on tradeoffs and synergies of provision of multiple ecosystem services in semiarid rangelands.