Date of this Version
Casual visitors to Nebraska rarely see the diversity of the 23 million acres of its rangeland. The state boasts of its nonparalleled range beef cattle industry which relies heavily on the Sandhills, a seemingly endless expanse of grass-covered dunes. In sharp contrast to the Sandhills, however, is a wide array of landscapes including the pine ridge of northern Nebraska, the sagebrush grassland of the southwestern region, the shortgrass prairie of the panhandle, the highly-dissected loess hills, and wooded river valleys. These landscapes offer a complex mixture of habitats, recreational opportunities, rangeland products, and management challenges. People with varied education and experience have interest in stewardship and management of Nebraska rangelands. They include ranchers, personnel of the Cooperative Extension Service and Natural Resource Districts, high school agricultural teachers, university professors and students, and federal agency personnel [e.g., Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and United States Forest Service (USFS)]. Because of the diversity and number of people interested in range management in Nebraska, a continuing education program was identified as a means of providing comprehensive instruction in range science and management.