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Rangelands

Sustaining the Nation's Forest and Rangeland Resources For Future Generations: The Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Program

“AN ACT To provide for an expanded and comprehensive extension program for forest and rangeland renewable resources…”

General Program Information

  • RREA serves a broad array of forest and rangeland stakeholders, including landowners and managers, natural resource professionals, forest products industry, range-based cattle industry, and non-consumptive.

  • RREA programs support efficient resource utilization and product marketing, provide products to consumers, and promote returns on investments of landowners, processors, and users.

  • The sustainability of the nation's forest and rangeland resources is largely dependent on the actions of millions of private forest owners, farmers, ranchers, and land managers.

  • RREA is contained in the current farm bill and will expire on September 30, 2007, unless it is reauthorized.

  • Annual authorized funding level: $30 million.

  • FY 2007 appropriation of $4.019 million is allocated to 72 land-grant institutions based on a state's forest and rangeland resources (productivity, economic contribution, employment) and state population.  Additionally, approximately $264,000 is awarded to land-grant institutions to carry out National Focus Fund projects.

  • FY 2007 allocations ranged from $46,536 to $101,820 for the 1862 land-grants and $11,137 for each of the 1890 land-grants, insular areas, and the University of the District of Columbia.

    • States report that RREA funds are leveraged up to 15-fold by state, local, and private funding.

 

Strategic Issues for the FY 2005-2009 RREA Program

In 2005, the state and federal partners collaborated to focus the RREA program on eight strategic issues:

  • diverse audiences;
  • economic opportunities for individuals and communities;
  • forest stewardship and health;
  • invasive species;
  • land conversion, fragmentation and parcelization;
  • public policy;
  • rangeland stewardship and health; and
  • wildlife and fisheries resources.

 

Nationwide Impacts of the RREA Program in 2006

  • Thirty three RREA institutions conducted extension programs on forest stewardship and health, involving nearly 8,000 landowners directly and 34,047 indirectly. These individuals own or manage 77 million acres and report earning or saving nearly $18 million.

  • Eight universities conducted programs in economic opportunities for individuals and communities. About 67,000 contacts were made. The reported economic impact from one institution was $5,400 per participant.

  • Ten universities conducted extension programs on rangeland stewardship and health.  With nearly 1,500 direct contacts and 37,000 indirect contacts, these programs impacted 1.7 million acres and enabled rangeland owners and managers to save or earn an average of $16,041.

  • Fisheries and wildlife extension programs were conducted with RREA funds at 12 institutions. Participants, both direct and indirect, totaled 41,900 and impacted 1.7 million acres.

  • The National Web-Based Learning Center for Forest and Rangeland Owners, a National Focus Fund project, had more than 40,000 visitors from 2004-2007, with 812 being registered users who return regularly. Currently 14 learning modules are available with another 8 modules to be online by summer 2007.

In 2006 alone, the center reported:

  • 25,964 visitors, of which 17,841 were new and 8,113 were returning visitors;
  • 2,613 visitors per month;
  • 316 Web pages were downloaded every month; and
  • visitors accessed between 4 and 36 pages per visit.
  • Total outputs for the national RREA program in 2006, as reported by 42 institutions:

    • 396 educational events
    • 54,866 participants
    • 867,047 indirect contacts
    • 82,054,208 acres owned or managed by program participants

 

RREA Program Contacts:

  • Eric Norland, National Program Leader, Forest Resource Management
  • Jim Dobrowolski, National Program Leader, Rangeland and Grassland Ecosystems
  • Daniel Cassidy, Program Specialist, Forests, Rangelands and Grasslands

 

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