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Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative bets on western venue to link ranchers and conservationists



BLM Director Abbey and NRCS Chief White to Attend

DAVIS, Calif. — Ranchers and conservationists share an interest in managing grazing lands for optimum ecologic health. They, and others interested in the environmental and economic implications of range management, are invited to a national conference of the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) being held in Reno, Nev., December 13-16.

Bob Abbey, national director for the Bureau of Land Management, and Dave White, chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, are just two of the featured speakers.  As the state director for the BLM in Nevada and the NRCS state director in Montana respectively, both bring with them vast knowledge of western resource concerns.

In bringing its national conference west in 2009, GLCI will give increased focus to western grazing issues. However, the conference will continue its past format of providing information along four “tracks” that will also include Eastern, Midwestern, Western, and Dairy Grazing Land Management issues. Some of the issues to be highlighted include the value of rotational grazing and of riparian habitat, carbon sequestration, and the flexibility within grazing systems.

One thing that sets GLCI apart from other conferences is its focus on successful producers (ranchers and farmers) as presenters. “We know experts come from academia, government, and the non-profit world and we welcome them all, but we also look for the “cowboy expert” who has gained their expertise through long hours with livestock and first-hand exposure to all sorts of  elements—natural, economic and political,” says Bob Drake, National Chair of the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) and an Oklahoma Rancher and businessman..

“Grazing lands management is not just a rural issue,” says Drake. “With at least two-thirds of the national land base in this grazing land, the wise management of these lands has implications not only for the continued viability of ranchers but also for the well being of watersheds and communities who rely on these lands for open space, hunting, hiking, plant and wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge, carbon sequestration and energy collection.”

Information on registration and/or exhibitor opportunities is at www.glci.org .

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