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Ranch Management Survey to include Native Voices

Hello, I am Maria Fernández-Giménez and I lead the Rangeland Social-Ecological Systems (RSES) team at Colorado State University (CSU). RSES works closely with ranching and pastoralist communities in the western U.S. and around the world to understand how we can better support sustainable rangeland management. As social-ecological researchers, we study how ranchers/pastoralists make decisions as individuals and as communities, how these decisions and actions affect non-human parts of ecosystems like soil, water, plants, and animals, and how these impacts in-turn affect people’s well-being and livelihoods.

A big weakness of most past research on rancher decision-making in the Western U.S. is that it mainly studied white Euro-American ranchers and made little effort to include the full diversity of ranchers and their varied goals, experiences, and practices.

When a major conservation organization asked RSES to conduct a rancher survey on ranch management planning, we agreed with the understanding that we would reach out to a much broader group of ranchers than is typically included in such surveys. We are interested in the experiences of all types of ranching operations: small and large, full/part-time, on private, public, leased, and tribal lands. Our main focus is cattle ranching, but we welcome responses from bison/buffalo and sheep producers.

To make sure all ranchers’ voices are included, we invite you to participate in this voluntary survey: SURVEY LINK

Please forward the link to others who may be interested. The survey takes about 15 minutes and your responses are completely anonymous. We will share survey findings widely with organizations that represent and work with ranchers, including IAC, Extension, and stockgrowers’ organizations, among others.

Contact information:

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact me personally at RSES PhD student Jasmine Bruno, is coordinating survey design, implementation, and analysis, and can be reached at



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