Colorado is no stranger to ground disturbance. However, the last 24 months have brought a surplus of ground disturbing events to the state. From grass killing drought, to creek re-routing floods, to forest denuding fires, Mother Nature has assaulted the land from all sides.

In response, the Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management (CSSRM) is hosting “Responding to Disturbance: Effective Restoration and Monitoring”. The conference and workshop will be held December 3-5, 2014, at the Fort Collins Marriott on Horsetooth Road. It will run from 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, December 3, until 1 p.m. on Friday, December 5.

The meeting will look closely at the impacts of fire, flood, grazing/drought, and oil/gas development and restoration methods for each. A key component is a half-day “Practitioner Skills” Workshop on Friday morning. Workshop speakers will focus on reseeding and revegetation methods, mulch and monitoring techniques and adaptive management.

The keynote speaker will open Wednesday with a look back at the history of restoration. The remainder of the afternoon will focus on range recovery on the ranch. It will start with a look at the restoration challenges and opportunities on rangeland. Livestock operators will then learn how they can manage the ranch to soften the impacts of drought and overgrazing. Attendees will also hear about low cost yet highly effective methods to help riparian recovery. The closing ranch talk will look at the Coal Basin Cow Stomp.

Wednesday evening will feature the Colorado Section banquet and awards presentation. The mixer and cash bar will open at 6 p.m., and the banquet at 7 p.m. The Colorado Section of SRM awards ceremony will follow the meal.

Small acreage lots present unique challenges to widespread disasters. Thursday will open with a discussion about how to counter these challenges followed by a look at fire and flood repair.

After the provided lunch, the focus will shift to energy industry disturbances and recovery/restoration practices. Noxious weed impact on restoration and information about efforts to build an ‘ecoregional’ seed network will close the day.

Friday will be the half-day “Practitioner Skills Workshop” co-hosted with the Society for Ecological Restoration Central Rockies Chapter. The workshop will address questions such as, “How do you identify problem areas and alter your strategy to improve restoration success?” Attendees will learn skills and techniques to help improve rangeland restoration success across habitats and disturbance types, from wetlands to energy lands to working prairies.

Registration for the full event includes breaks, the Wednesday evening banquet and Thursday lunch. SRM and SER members pay $150. Non-member registration is $165. The Wednesday and Friday half-day sessions is $40 each (no meals) while Thursday is $75 (includes lunch). After November 15, full registration increases $15 and day registrations increase $10. Student rates are available.

This meeting is for practitioners, landowners, contractors, city and county government employees. A complete agenda, registration and exhibitor information is available at the meeting website: http://cssrm2014.eventbrite.com.