Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2015

Gary Watson, Mohave County Supervisor (left); Jim O'Haca, President, Arizona Cattle Growers Association (2nd from right); and Patrick Bray, Arizona Cattle Growers Association (right) received a PLF Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the Arizona Resource Advisory (RAC) Council Grazing Subcommittee from Beau McClure, PLF Vice President for Operations (3rd from left). Roxie Trost, BLM Colorado River District Manager (2nd from left) nominated the Subcommittee for the award; and Ray Suazo, BLM Arizona State Director (3rd from right) participated in the ceremony. Grazing Subcommittee members not present are: Doug Traub, RAC member and Subcommittee Lead; DAwn Hubbs, RAC member and Subcommittee Co-Chair; Clay Overson, Mohave Livestock Association; Dee Kephart, Arizona Game & Fish Department; Jack Ehrhardt, private citizen; and Anita Waite, private citizen.

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Arizona Resource Advisory Council Grazing Subcommittee with a 2015 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation.  The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The formation of the Grazing Subcommittee started as a response to the fear of grazing permit renewal in the Kingman Field Office ending up in litigation and long-standing partnerships would be at risk at the local and regional level.  Working with both the Mohave Livestock Association and the Arizona Cattle Growers offered a locally supported solution at a time when local grazing issues were quickly becoming national issues.

In an era where management decisions can lead to environmental conflict, the Grazing Subcommittee decided to chart another course.  Stakeholder buy-in for BLM-offered solutions is always a notable goal.  The Subcommittee, through investment of time and commitment, created a workable, viable alternative.  Through the extraordinary efforts of the team, an adaptive management alternative was embraced by the BLM.

 To address grazing issues on a landscape scale, the Grazing Subcommittee regularly attended night meetings, field trips, and participated in training in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and adaptive management.

One of the first tasks the Grazing Subcommittee accomplished was creating a purpose statement to develop an alternative that met the BLM’s multiple-use mission while supporting a viable, local ranching operation.  The leadership within the Subcommittee was bringing stakeholders together to develop a plan that could get consensus support from participants as well as the BLM.  No matter how many meetings or field trips they needed to attend, their ultimate goal was to understand the issues and forge an agreement that everyone could accept at the end of the process.

The Grazing Subcommittee has shown commitment, leadership and vision in developing Arizona BLM’s first ever-adaptive management program for livestock grazing.  The work of these community members has helped avoid protracted conflict over renewal of grazing permits and has brought the science of adaptive management to the Colorado River District and the Kingman Field Office.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Arizona Resource Advisory Council Grazing Subcommittee with a 2015 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Edward Shepard
September 22, 2015