The Malpai Borderlands Group was formed in 1994 by ranchers in a 1,250 square mile area in extreme southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, as a direct attempt to resolve the so-called rangeland conflict through collaborative, adaptive, landscape-scale management. The threats of suburban development, shrub encroachment, and insecure public land grazing permits together inspired a coalition of ranchers, state and federal agencies, scientists and environmental groups to put aside their various and long-standing differences in favor of an alternative approach. In several regards, the Malpai Group has achieved remarkable success: roughly two-thirds of the area's private lands are now protected from development by conservation easements, and federal grazing permits have been made more secure by scientific research, collaborative conservation projects, and collective agreements with agencies to protect endangered species. One of the Group's central goalsâ€”restoring the region's evolutionary fire regimeâ€”has been only partially and haltingly achieved, for reasons that indicate the limits of collaborative adaptive management in US rangelands today. Technologies of remote sensing, ecological site descriptions, and state-and-transition models are now being developed to help address these limits, although it remains unclear whether they will be sufficient to overcome what are fundamentally social and political obstacles.
Oral presentation and poster titles, abstracts, and authors from the Society for Range Management (SRM) Annual Meetings and Tradeshows, from 2013 forward.