An estimated 11 million acres of hardwood rangelands and 2.5 million acres of oak savannah cover California. Managed primarily for livestock production, these areas have taken on a new importance because of the recognition that they are one of the richest wildlife habitats in the state.
Additional public values are also provided by these areas -- water quantity and quality, erosion and sediment control, outdoor recreation and aesthetics.
Management decisions by landowners and managers are important, since over 80 percent of California's hardwood rangelands are in private ownership.
A new book, "Guidelines for Managing California's Hardwood Rangelands," helps landowners and managers of hardwood rangeland properties develop operational plans that maintain and enhance the profitability of their property while sustaining the ecological values provided by the land.
Published by UC Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the guidelines lead readers through a close evaluation of the goals and objectives for their properties, and present a variety of management strategies to achieve them.
A revision of the preliminary guidelines released in 1986 by UC, the book incorporates nine additional years of research and experience developed by UC's Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program and other universities and agencies.
The book is in three sections. The first presents a framework on which sustainable management is built.
The second has chapters on enterprises that can contribute to economic and quality-of-life goals. For example, the chapter examines livestock enterprise on hardwood rangeland, discusses fee hunting and other outdoor recreation, and gives information on how these undertakings allow owners to capture economic benefits.
Part three addresses management of hardwood rangelands to sustain their long-term economical and ecological values and evaluates the relationships of fire and erosion to the long-term sustainability.
To order, send a check for $15 payable to the UC Regents to Joni Rippee, Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program, 163 Mulford Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720.