Oak Rangeland Management
The Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program (IHRMP) was established in 1986 to address concerns about the long-term sustainability of California's oak woodlands. The central coast Natural Resource Specialist, stationed in San Luis Obispo UCCE Office, is one of five regional Specialists located throughout the state who work in collaboration with local Cooperative Extension offices and various agencies and interest groups. A current IHRMP focus in the central coast region is delivery of science-based education to help ensure that both the quality and the area's strong agricultural traditions are maintained.
Note: Starting January 1, 2010, the administrative support and reporting structure will change and there will no longer be an IHRMP as a separate program. Instead, the Area Natural Resource Specialists will pursue similar goals under UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources within a new, still evolving, statewide structure. See http://ucanr.org/sites/oak_range/ for more information, updates, and the most recent Oaks 'n' Folks Newsletter.
To read past editions of the Oaks 'n' Folks Newsletter, please click here.
The University of California Cooperative Extension and the Native Tree Committee, San Luis Obispo County, conducts a series of workshops and field days—Working Among the Oaks—on agricultural stewardship and oak woodland conservation. Working Among the Oaks provides a forum for teaching and learning among the public and agricultural community, with an emphasis on practical expertise, unbiased discussion, and positive interaction in a climate of mutual respect. The ultimate goal of the workshop series is to foster sustainable management of California's oak woodlands, which occur mostly on agriculturally zoned land. An increasing focus of our workshops is to support a ranching sustainability self-assessment project (RSA - see link to left), which may prove to be a powerful tool for ranchers and other land managers to ensure their sustainability and good stewardship of the land and the oak woodlands thereon.
Focusing on youth, Learning Among the Oaks developed an interpretive trail on 15 acres of the historic Santa Margarita Ranch (SMR) adjacent to the Santa Margarita Elementary School to provide the school's K-6th grade students with opportunities for hands-on oak woodland studies within the context of a working cattle ranch. Learning Among the Oaks is supported by the SMR, the California Conservation Corps, Santa Margarita 4-H, the Land Conservancy of SLO County, and many other collaborators.
The goals of the Stewardship Program are to promote:
- Public understanding of oak trees and oak woodlands;
- Appreciation for oaks and offer science-based learning of oak woodland functions and use;
- Large scale oak woodland conservation by promoting good stewardship of working landscapes; and
- Stewardship of oaks on all landscapes throughout the county and beyond.
The UC book "Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California" is available to workshop participants at a special flat rate price of $20 (normally $25 plus $1.81 tax and $4.50 s/h). Pre-order when you register and pick up your copy at the workshop (we will have additional copies available at the regular price plus tax). This helpful workbook also can be purchased online at http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/SmallFarms/3484.aspx (use code PRLUS40 at check-out for a 10% discount).