Ecosystem services are benefits humans obtain as a result of ecosystem processes and conditions. In the western United States, public rangelands are managed for a spectrum of ecosystem services on behalf of multiple stakeholders. Decisions of ranchers who hold public land grazing allotments must balance operational needs for forage with societal expectations for other ecosystem services. To better understand their choices regarding ecosystem services, we interviewed ranchers to learn about the bases for their management decisions and identify services they believe rangelands provide. A total of 19 services were identified, many of which reflected ranchers' recognition that they manage within the context of a broader social-ecological system (e.g., maintaining open space). We then conducted a mail survey of Bureau of Land Management grazing permittees in six states to understand the importance they personally place on different services, as well as the extent to which they manage with those services in mind. Fourteen of the 19 ecosystem services identified in interviews were reported by at least 50% of the survey sample (N = 435) as influencing their management decisions. Most respondents reported trying to manage deeded and leased land to the same standard. Aside from forage for livestock (ranked #1), ranchers were less likely to report managing for provisioning services than for cultural, supporting, and regulating services. Importance ratings for ecosystem services followed a similar pattern, although there were a few differences in rank order. Ranchers tended to report managing for more ecosystem services if they had larger operations, earned at least 50% of their income from ranching, spent more time out on the ranch, and relied on multiple sources for information about range management. Results indicate public land ranchers believe they are managing for multifunctionality, balancing their own operational needs with those of society.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 72 • No. 4