Monday, August 2, 2010: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
315-316, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Brandon T. Bestelmeyer
Rebecca L. McCulley
Jeffrey E. Herrick
Rangelands comprise nearly a third of the Earth’s ice-free land cover and harbor some of world’s most impoverished peoples. Degradation of global rangelands due to increasing resource use pressures is predicted to be exacerbated by climate change, particularly in drylands. While ecological science has clearly advanced our understanding of rangelands, the linkages between those advances and sustainable management are less apparent. As part of the recent ESA initiative on Planetary Stewardship, this Special Session will address the interface of science, policy, and rangeland stewardship at local to international levels. Representatives of the sponsoring ESA Rangeland Ecology section, including Jeff Herrick, Joel Brown, and Mark Brunson, will initiate discussions with short presentations. Well-developed examples of the science-sustainability linkage in rangelands (both encouraging and discouraging) will be highlighted. General types of barriers to successful stewardship, and proposals to overcome them, will be summarized in a resulting white paper. We anticipate the following benefits from the Special Session and its products: (1) We will offer the broader ESA membership a perspective on planetary stewardship from the large body of rangeland examples; (2) Taking advantage of the diverse membership of the Rangeland Ecology section, we will illustrate how different entities experience rangeland science-stewardship linkages, including academia, land-owners, governmental and NGO programs, and international aid organizations; and (3) The session and resulting white paper will be used to develop an ESA Symposium proposal for 2011, with input from interested ESA membership.