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Drought

Decision Support Tool

We developed a drought decision support tool and accompanying cost worksheets to weigh the economics of specific management strategies- please see the links below! We are seeking rancher feedback to ensure these tools are applicable to Siskiyou County operations. Please contact Grace Woodmansee with your comments and suggestions - gwoodmansee@ucanr.edu, (530)842-2711. 

New Research: On-ranch adaptation to California's historic 2012-2016 drought

California's historic, statewide drought (2012-2016) challenged the ability of ranchers to adapt to unprecedented conditions while maintaining the economic and ecological sustainability of their operations. We examined how California's historic drought shaped on-ranch drought impacts and management strategies via two separate research efforts: The California Rangeland Decision-Making Survey (2011) and semistructured interviews conducted during the drought (2016).

You can find the full article here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190052821001036

Key results: 

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The average number of drought management practices used by ranchers increased between 2011 and 2016; in particular, an apparent increase in use of proactive practices may indicate that underlying drought conditions leading into 2012 were a catalyst for proactive drought planning.

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Rancher responses to questions about future drought risk suggest drought experience impacted individual perceptions of threat and preparedness in two distinct ways. Ranch managers believed that 1) drought will be more influential in their future management planning, and 2) their current management strategies would be adequate to mitigate future drought impacts.

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Decision-support tools to help ranchers match their preferred proactive strategies with cost-effective, operation-specific reactive strategies can increase the use of science-based decision-making during drought (see above!)