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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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New Paper Making News from the PHACE Study

Paper in Nature: Elevated CO2 further lengthens growing season under warming conditions. (Dan LeCain and Jack Morgan RRRU scientists)

ARS News Service Press Release: USDA Research Shows Potential Impact of Climate Change on Rangeland Plants  

New York Times article:  Springing Forward, and Its Consequences

Photo by Julie Kray

 Forage Field Day

When: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time:  9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: High Plains Grasslands Research Station
 8408 Hildreth Road, Cheyenne, WY

Please RSVP by May 1 to:

Ann Heckart 307.772.2433 x.100 

  Or to

New article by Dana Blumenthal is getting a lot on notice. "Invasive forb benefits from water savings by native plants and carbon fertilization under elevated CO2 and warming" printed in New Phytologist.

Article was also reported on by:

  • Listen to the radio broadcast produced by Luke Runyon of Harvest Public Media and National Public Radio, and broadcast on All Things Considered.  radio broadcast- aired on local NPR on March 3
  • New Phytologist news piece
  • EcoPress blog post

Visit the PHACE page to find out more information on the study.

Photo by Steve Asmus.

toadflax photo by Ateve Asmus

Cattle as ecosystem

New grazing management enhances rangeland biodiversity

By Justin D. Derner, David J. Augustine and Emily J. Kachergis

Climate, soils, topography, grazing, and fire have shaped the composition and structure of vegetation on rangelands in the American West. Collectively, the many possible combinations of these different factors should lead to diverse plant communities and associated diverse wildlife species. Differences in vegetation structure (i.e., how tall above the soil surface the plants are) and composition (kind
and amounts of different plants) are both important for biodiversity.

To read entire article click here

CO-LABS 2010 Govonor's Award for High-Impact Research


ARS scientist Dr. Jack Morgan recognized for his work in Global Change Research.  Watch video of the award  that the Colorado Labs put on YouTube.





Wyoming rangelands encompass diverse lands across the state, from prairie to sagebrush to mountain forests. These lands are managed for livestock production as well as a variety of other goals such as wildlife, energy, water, and open space. How management decisions are made on these diverse lands was the central question for the Rangeland Decision-Making Survey, a collaborative effort among the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the University of Wyoming and the University of California-Davis. The survey asked WSGA producer members about their goals, ranch characteristics, and management practices. A total of 307 ranchers (50%) responded. Fact Sheet


For more information on the survey contact : Emily Kachergis

Heterogeneity Workshop

New Approaches to Managing Semi-arid Grasslands: Promoting Habitat Diversity While Supporting Livestock Production


Ted Toombs, Environmental Defense Fund
David Augustine, USDA-ARS, Rangeland Resources Research Unit
Justin Derner, USDA-ARS,
Rangeland Resources Research Unit
Seth Gallagher, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

Bryce Kruger, Wyoming Game and Fish Department


             Workshop Notes

Workshop Presentations

 Drought Management Workshop

Drought is a normal part of Nebraska climate.  It is not a question of if drought will occur, but rather when it will occur, how long it will last, and are you prepared.  This one-day workshop offered a variety of speakers from Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado as well as a variety of topics that will help ranchers to better prepare for and respond to future drought.  A presentation  by Justin Derner(ARS Cheyenne, WY) and Jack Morgan(ARS Fort Collins, CO) discussed climate change and its potential management impacts for Rangelands of the Great Plains.

Drought Presentation (3.79 MB)


ARS News Makers

A whole new meaning???or rather, an old one???to ???going viral???:
The latest issue of our quarterly online newsletter Healthy Animals offers surprising news  from microbiologist Julia Ridpath at our ARS National Animal Disease Center at Ames, Iowa, on just how much cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus could be costing producers, and more on that strange grasshopper-plant-cattle virus connection from microbiologist Barbara Drolet at our ARS Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory in Laramie, Wyo., and research rangeland management specialist Justin Derner at our ARS High Plains Grassland Research Station in Cheyenne, Wyo.  (4/14)


The secret of their success:
New research by ecologist Dana Blumenthalat our ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit in Fort Collins, CO, has shown that two key causes of plant invasion--escape from natural enemies, and increases in plant resources--act in concert, and that global change is likely to exacerbate invasion by exotic plants.  (4/30)


Conservation Grazing Management 

Article published in Cow Country -- Winter 2009.


Carbon dioxide levels threaten prairie life


Article written about Gobal change research done by the RRRU.

Kevin Darst
Health and Environment Reporter
Fort Collins Coloradoan
(970) 224-7757 Fax (970) 224-7899
1300 Riverside Ave
Fort Collins, CO 80522

ARS News Articles

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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