Measuring the success of the GIP program is best achieved in three main areas:
- Monitoring on the ground results of projects and land management changes. This is done using both on-the-ground and remote sensing techniques. See an example.
- Tracking the economic viability of the livestock industry and rural economies related to ranching in Utah. This includes tracking federal, state and private forage allocation over time. See the report.
- Partnering with others to improve resource health and preserve livestock grazing on public lands. Sustainable Grazing for Southern Utah Forests; Aspen restoration guidelines; Public affairs video on livestock grazing
The benefits of healthy livestock grazing can be felt in Utah’s rural communities.
A grazing expert, Charley Orchard of Montana’s Land EKG, says a successful livestock operation improves the prosperity of agriculture, the local community and our natural resources. See the video.
Livestock’s contribution to local economies. See the video.
GIP has implemented hundreds of projects since 2006. Project funds have aided ranchers not only in installing infrastructure such as water systems and fences but also in removing invasive plants and reseeding with beneficial species after fires and vegetation treatments.
For generations, the measurement of ecological, social, and economic factors surrounding grazing and rangelands has been difficult to calculate. New technology is evolving that will allow landscape scale measurements that can clearly track and document changes in range conditions over the long-term. Until that time, it might be well to remember the quote of Albert Einstein, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”.