The North Dakota State University Extension Service and Hettinger Research Extension Center have teamed up to produce a video titled "The Importance of Range Monitoring."

"Rangelands are the fundamental base of our livestock industry throughout the world and also critical to wildlife habitat," says Kevin Sedivec, NDSU Extension Service rangeland specialist. "Monitoring rangeland is critical for producers to understand where they are, where they have been and where they are going to go."

The video points out that healthy rangelands provide a variety of benefits, including forage for livestock, habitat for wildlife, water storage and filtration, and soil erosion protection. Healthy rangelands also provide recreational possibilities, such as horseback riding, mountain bike riding, hunting, fishing and bird watching.

The video offers tips on managing rangelands and determining if goals are being met.

"The value of rangelands often is underappreciated because people see the rangelands and don't fully understand what is going on," says Amanda Gearhart, Hettinger REC research specialist. "There are ecosystem processes that go on in the rangelands, people and animals use it, we get energy from the rangelands and many other things, so there are processes that go on that often aren't well recognized."

Sedivec agrees. He says it is important for the public to know what the land contributes to society, whether it's an economic return to the livestock industry, esthetic value, wildlife value or carbon sequestering.

The video is available at several websites: