Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meet Another Key Member of the JA Ranch Sustainability Assessment Team

As the skilled field crew from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with J.K. "Rooter" Brite, Jr. to collect data on the JA Ranch, Charles "Chuck" Stanley facilitates communication between state and regional staff members and coordinates data analysis with NRCS soil scientists.  Chuck is currently a Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) Range Management Specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Central Technology Institute, located in Fort Worth, TX. 

Chuck was born in Lubbock, Texas and grew up in the big town of Notrees until age 7 before moving to Odessa where he graduated in 1983. After working in the oilfield and having an epiphany one evening, Chuck moved back to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University. Chuck had several influential professors in the Range and Wildlife department at Tech, one who got him interested in prescribed burning; his calling for the next few years. 

After graduation in 1992, Chuck worked as a Scientist for EG&G environmental services at the Nevada Test Site on the Yucca Mountain Project. Here, Chuck spent performed impact mitigation surveys, vegetation sampling, and various other biological research projects. Towards the middle of 1993, another professor from Tech offered Chuck an opportunity to pursue a Masters Degree program studying the Effects of Summer Burning on Texas High Plains Vegetation.  Following completion of his Masters Degree in 1997, Chuck became the ranch manager of a 3000-acre cow-calf, stocker, and peanut operation in Girard, Texas.

Towards the end of 1999, Chuck became a NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist in Waurika, Oklahoma. In 2001, a move to Lawton, Oklahoma saw Chuck as an Area Rangeland Management Specialist covering 6 counties in SW Oklahoma.  Three years later, Chuck relocated to Woodward, Oklahoma as the Zone 1 Rangeland Resource Specialist. In 2005, Chuck was selected as one of the 3 GLCI Rangeland Management Specialists for the Central National Technology Support Center in Ft. Worth, Texas where he resides today.  Chuck is also a certified professional in rangeland management and certified grassland professional.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet the Field Crew for the JA Ranch Sustainability Assessment Pilot Project

Texas Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) State Coordinator Jeff Goodwin provides rangeland management brainstormed the idea to incorporate the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) Ranch Sustainability Assessment Process into the Texas GLCI 2011 program of work, noting compatibility with the GLCI focus on ranch economics.  Current Texas GLCI Chairman J.K. "Rooter" Brite, Jr. offered his JA Ranch as a demonstration site, and field crews began collecting data during June 2011.  Additional data will be collected next month when the field crews return to their plots and transects on the JA Ranch.  Jeff and Lem Creswell, both with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas, are shown below working with clipping plots to determine forage supply (photo courtesy NRCS).

In addition to working with Texas GLCI, Jeff provides training to NRCS field office personnel, technical assistance to landowners, and leadership for land management in the state of Texas through the GLCI. During the past 2 years, prior to becoming the state Coordinator for Texas GLCI, while serving as the Blackland Prairie Area GLCI Coordinator, Jeff was involved with providing grazing land technical assistance to 312 landowners and/or cooperating partners on their property. The assistance included the development of conservation plans, forage inventories and monitoring strategies for grazing management plans as well as grazing land management decision making tools. Additionally, 68 educational awareness and technical outreach presentations were hosted for 3,839 participants.