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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SEMIARID RANGELAND ECOSYSTEMS: THE CONSERVATION-PRODUCTION INTERFACE Title: Home on a transitioning range: A ranch simulation game demonstrating STMs

Authors
item Pritchett, James -
item Parsons, Jay -
item Kachergis, Emily
item Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria -
item Ritten, John -

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2012
Publication Date: June 15, 2012
Citation: Pritchett, J., Parsons, J., Kachergis, E.J., Fernandez-Gimenez, M.E., Ritten, J. 2012. Home on a transitioning range: A ranch simulation game demonstrating STMs. Rangelands. 34(3):53-59.

Interpretive Summary: State and transitions models (STMs) are conceptual models that depict both reversible changes and sudden, irreversible changes in rangelands. Because they accurately represent a variety of dynamics, STMs are becoming a preferred method for monitoring rangeland ecosystems and a key input in adaptive management. However, many land managers have not yet adopted these new tools. This article suggests a creative means for increasing awareness of STMs through active participation in a ranch management game in a workshop setting. Recent evaluations indicate successful transmission of key concepts, but adoption of these new tools will take time to measure. The article reviews the reasons for developing the STM game, describes the workshop and simulation game and concludes with limitations and next steps.

Technical Abstract: State and transitions models (STM) are becoming a preferred method for monitoring rangeland ecosystems and a key input in adaptive management strategies. Yet, land managers do not readily adopt these tools. This article suggests a creative means for increasing awareness of STMs through active participation in a ranch management game accompanying an STM workshop. Recent evaluations indicate successful transmission of key concepts, but adoption of STMs will take time to measure. The article reviews the impetus for developing the STM game, describes the workshop/simulation game structure and concludes with notable limitations and next steps.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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