LD Ford Rangeland
Conservation Science: LEGAL AND
Federal and state law requires a comprehensive
review and planning about potential impacts
of a planned activity to the human environment, including endangered
species, clean water, cultural resources, and
related environmental protection. Livestock
grazing can be associated with significant environmental
impacts (as well as benefits), and planning
for its management must include enough information
to make choices to avoid or minimize such impacts.
refers to sustaining the integrity of the soil
and the ecological processes of rangeland ecosystems.
It is the fundamental set of qualities of the
ecosystem that supports the habitat of special-status
species and natural communities, the production
of goods and services, and capability of the
land to support human economic and cultural
activities. The National Research Council developed
national standards and methods for its assessment.
The U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation
Service has adopted and modified those standards,
and described methods for their measurement
and applications in conservation practices.
Consequently, management, including monitoring
of rangelands should incorporate these standards.
Rangeland Manager (CRM) program involves both certification and legal licensing. The California Code of Regulations and Public
Resources Code require licensing as a CRM to conduct professional planning
and management activities for non-federal "forested" rangelands
(these are grasslands, savannas, and shurblands with the ecological potential to support significant
stands of native tree cover). The CRM must be in charge and the primary author of the professional activity, whether or not subordinate professionals are involved. The California
Board of Forestry and Fire Protection licenses
these professionals after certification by the California-Pacific
Section of the Society for Range Management
(CalPac SRM). The certification covers all kinds of rangelands in the state. Qualifications for certification and licensing include specified education, experience,
and passing an exam in rangeland resource ecology,
management, economics, measurement, and policy.
The certified/licensed professional is also obliged to follow a Code of
Ethics, including to manage and perform services consistent with the highest standards of quality, integrity, and respect for the rangeland resources as well as the employer and the pubic, to use sound information, to give advice only on topics for which he/she is informed and qualified, and to give credit to the work of others where due. Aside from the licensing requirement, possession of the certification/license indicates to prospective employers or clients that this professional has the qualifications and ethics to be approved by his/her peers.
For more information on the CRM license, refer to:
(a) The California
Deputy Attorney General's recent analysis
confirming the requirement for a CRM license
to conduct professional rangeland management
activities on non-federal rangelands;
(b) The memo
by Eric Huff, Executive Officer, Foresters
Registration for the Board of Forestry and Fire
Protection, which describes the CRM program’s
(c) The CRM website of the California-Pacific
Section of the Society for Range Management;
(d) A summary of the history,
advantages, and legal requirements of the CRM
program on the website of the University
of California Integrated Hardwood Range Management
(e) An article by L. Ford comparing the California CRM
program and the Society for Range Management's certifications, Certified Professional in Rangeland Management and Certified Range Management Consultant.