|In tasks of knowledge
the individual worker can rarely accomplish anything without the support
of colleagues. The examples of range vegetation types compiled here exemplify
that axiom. This collection and its presentation required the labor and
advice of supportive people too numerous to remember. Recognition of some
of the indispensable supporters must begin with Mr. Jerry Morse and Dr.
Al Stagenberger of the Department of Forestry & Resource Management
at the University of California, Berkeley who a quarter century ago provided
the council and patient instruction that enabled a neophyte shutterbug to
pursue this aspect of his avocation. The continuing friendship and "firey"
ecological advice of Dr. Ron Wakimoto, fellow assistant professor at Berkeley
and later professor of fire ecology in the School of Forestry at University
of Montana, traces to the author's earliest days of photographing vegetation.
Several individuals kindly took slides for this publication upon request by the author. Dr. Joe Cadle, graduate school classmate and fellow professor at Tarleton State University kindly consented to expend some of my Kodachrome in his Canon while "on the slope" of Prudoe Bay thereby allowing inclusion of some tundra range types in this collection. Tarleton graduate student John Ashe took some slides of Sonoran Desert vegetation as part of a problems course which allowed more coverage of this harsh but romantic range type. Former Tarleton student Miss Lee Anne Scott, intern with the Student Conservation Association, and Dr. Naida Lehmann, National Park Service botanist at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, also put some of my Kodachrome to good use and provided slides of the jack pine, basswood and beech-sugar maple forest cover types. The self-less assistance of Dr. Lehmann, who never met the author yet came to the aid of a colleague in an academic endeavor, was most professional and appreciated. Mr. Tim E. Walker, Tarleton State student and now with Texas Parks and Wildlife, took photographs of the open understorey loblolly pine forest type and its regeneration as part of a special problems course. Three of those slides were included with the southeastern pine types. Dr. Michael Wade, professor of horticulture at Tarleton State, took two slides of the eastern white pine-eastern hemlock forest and of American beech specifically for this publication. Miss Allison Weir, with the apt assistance of Miss Manon Brinegar, (two fine graduate students at Tarleton State) put some of the author's Kodachrome to the best use yet to bring back several beautiful and instructive scenes of the Chihuhuan Desert, including cactus species therein, and trans Pecos semidesert grassland. Appreciation is extended to Dr. Harold F. Heady, professor of range management at University of California, Berkeley, for use of two slides of Great Basin vegetation.
Mr. Allen Stahnke, former student in Tarleton's Range Ecology course, as a member of the Soil Survey party in the Texas Big Thicket kindly gave two days out of his rump-bustin' schedule to guide his taskmaster professor to some of the most remote but choicest examples of these rare forest range types and sites. (An instructor's greatest gratification comes when his former student becomes the "on-fire" expert and takes over the role of professor.) Examples and description of various range types and sites in central Florida "collected" on a Society for Range Management tour were made possible by the advice and one-on-one, on-location lecture by Mr. Clifford W. Carter of the Soil Conservation Service (State Range Conservationist Florida and, later, Regional Range Conservationist). Without the patience and expertise of this old-hand the sides of Florida types would have been a jig-saw puzzle. Dr. Tom Shiflet, former chief of Range Conservation (Soil Conservation Service), provided similar aid and general sound advice regarding range types while on an SRM tour of oak-hickory savannas and bald knobs in the Missouri Ozarks, and again several years later just prior to his last battle with cancer.
Prof. Wayne Hamilton and Dr. Bobby J. Ragsdale of the Department of Range Science, Texas A&M University, and Range Specialist of Texas Agricultural Extension Service, respectively, were especially kind to let the author "tag along" on their outstanding summer course, Field Studies in Range Management (Range Science 421). Everyone on this southwest ranching and vegetation safari had his share of "sinking spells", but the unforgettable experience provided a rare opportunity to learn about the rangelands of the mixed prairie in the Rolling Red Plains and of the Rio Grande (South Texas) Plains from two old Aggie masters and to include some examples of one of Earth's biggest, toughest brush patches. Their hospitality and open-book courtesy to a member of a "step-child" campus is remembered with fondness.
The author acknowledges with
extra fondness and the most pleasant of memories his debt and gratitude
to two Cal Foresters. Drs. Joe R. McBride, chairman of the Department
of Forest Science, and Paul J. Zinke, professor emeritus of soil science
and forest influences, at University of California, Berkeley made possible
most of the portions dealing with the vegetation of the Sierra Nevada
and northern Coast Range. Lasting friendships and professional associations
between these "forest patriarchs" and the author began years
ago when all were fellow faculty members. On a specially arranged visit
for preparation of this work Chairman McBride graciously welcomed back
a "wayward son" and generously provided room and board (by the
board foot) at UC Summer Camp 2000 along with prized rare advice on where
to find the priceless trophy vegetation. McBride unselfishly gave of his
scarce time to see to that the author collected many examples of the mixed
conifer type and got accurate information for descriptions of them. He
also furnished a slide of Idaho fescue coastal prairie that was included
herein. Prof. Zinke, an ole warhorse who had done some of the pioneer
work of the California Soil-Vegetation Survey, took the photographer under
his fatherly tutelage and furnished one-of-a-kind transportation, travel
log, and tour guidance to a cornucopia of climax and seral communities.
Daylong excursions to Lassen Volcanic National Park and national forests
were some of the finer times of this project and resulted in such cover
types as red fir, mountain hemlock, yellow pine chaparral, wet meadow,
and the entire transect (full elevational range) of Sierra Nevada vegetation.
Paul and Joe were outstanding "references" on forest ecology
and silvicultural systems (as well as local history, most of which is
not the sort that is printed). All this "fire-in-the-belly"
Forestry was "leavened" with ever-helpful tips from Drs. Al
Stagenberger and Jim Bertenshaw (and smoke from the latter's pipe). Such
Berkeley brotherhood was essential to inclusion of many of the range types
of floristically rich northern California. Just saying "thanks"
for the longstanding help and friendship of these Cal Foresters fills
this photographers frame with a "warm glow" (though still a
remote sensing distance from flower child "touchy feely", fellows).
Dr. Russ Pettit, Professor of Range Management at Texas Tech University, provided indespensible insight into the shinnery oak range ecosystem. Russ spent the better part of his research career working with shin oak range and as one of the leading authorities on this climax shrubland furnished descriptions, explanations, and insights into management of this rangeland cover type that few, if any, other range scientists could have offered. Russ' friendship over a span of two decades was one of the finest examples of collegiality and professional hospitality extended to this author during the Texas phase of his study of range vegetation.
The author was particularily indepted to Dr. J. Daniel Rodgers, range scientist at University of Wyoming, for his insights into the Canby bluegrass-threetip sagebrush range community and details of the habitat on which it develops. There are not good descriptions available for many of the range types and range sites in Wyoming. Range scientists working with range typical of much of Wyoming traditionally emphasized plant taxonomy and applied range management research such as grazing trials rather than descriptions of range vegetation or related areas of Vegetation Science. Prof. Rodgers' insights were indespensible given the oral rather than written accounts of range vegetation in such environments as those of the Front Range, Medicine Bow Mountains, and grasslands of the Central Rocky Mountains.
Mr. Stephen J. Campbell, Natural Resources/Forestry Specialist, Cooperative Agricultural Extension, University of Arizona in a long, detailed discussion painstakeningly described the sacaton flats form of semidesert grassland as well as the complex interactions of grazing, fire, and silviculture of southwestern pine-grass forests and pine-juniper-grass woodlands in northern Arizona. Steve Campbell was a fine tribute to the University of Arizona. He so embodied the features of an extension specialist that he personified Agricultural Extension as most extension faculty wished they had the dedication to reflect. In similar fashion, Mr. David Fisher of the Springerville, Arizona district office, Natural Resources Conservation Service provided useful information about the semidesert grasslands and pinyon pine-juniper woodlands of northeaastern Arizona. David also sent along a hard copy of the soil survey for this part of Apache County, Arizona which allowed the author to avoid that awkward and abhorred Web Soil Srurvey. (It was also enjoyable discussing mutual friends in range conservation with these two devoted public servants.)
Other notable examples of forestry professionalism and extra helpful folks included Mr. Jack Puckett, retired U.S. Forest Service fuels specialist for Region One, and his cheery wife Louise. This delightful couple were volunteer hosts at the historic Lochsa Ranger Cabin and they stayed over an hour past quitting time to explain in great detail where to find relict stands of western white pine and other "secrets" of the Idaho mixed conifer forest. Another of the Pinchot breed was Mr. Bear, manager of Heyburn State Park in northern Idaho. He directed the author to the old-growth western white pine forest at Heyburn. These blister rust-resistant trees comprise some of the few remaining stands of this now rare forest cover type. Mr. Bear's knowledge, goodwill, and foresight to reserve from harvest virgin stands made it possible to show students examples of what was once -and hopefully with plant breeding will again be- some of the finest lumber-producing forests in North America.
The U.S. Forest Service came through again with priceless help in regard to the oak-hickory-shortleaf pine type in the Boston Mountains. Mr. Ralph Odegard, Range Management Specialist, and his enthusiastic staff and colleagues of the Boston Mountain Ranger District, Ozark National Forest in Ozark, Arkansas provided the author with materials regarding vegetation classification from the Forest Service "use book" as well as the Arkansas GAP analysis project.Their first-hand familarity with the general forest vegetation, specifically forest range, and of insect pests like oak borers was of great benefit.
One of the warmest receptions and some of the most knowledgable assistance ever received came from Mr. Jim Caldwell, Public Affairs Officer, and Mr. Phillip E. Hyatt, Botanist, of the Kisatchie National Forest in Pineville, Louisiana. The entire segment devoted to the longleaf pine cover type is a tribute to these two men. Without their kind, extremely informative, never-too-busy-to-help "rescue" the author would have been roving the woods of western Louisiana without finding the "crown jewel" of the remaining longleaf pine-pinehill bluestem range.
Special thanks to Mr. Glen Snell, retired from Soil Conservation Service, for detailed discussion of Iuka IV eastern gamagrass and the "storey behind the storey" of this amazing cultivar, and for doing his part to preserve germ plasm of one of the most productive temperate forage grasses ever developed. It was a pleasure to experience the unquenchable zeal of one of the old-timers and true believers.
Mr. Jack Henson, another range conservationist with the Soil (Natural Resources) Conservation Service, spent over 30 years in the Texas Chihuhuan Desert, Edwards Plateau, and Rio Grande Plains (before the NRCS "computered me out") and shared benefit of his experience in this vast area with the author. Mr. Henson provided a very informative explanation of the unique range vegetation (a mixed scrub-grass savanna) and range sites in the transition zone (ecotone) where these three vegetational (land resource) areas "overlap" or merge into "hodge-podge habitats.
Dr. James Bradley Johnson, Lecturer, Colorado State University provided help in identification of several rush and sedge species in the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Allan Nelson, Assistant Porfessor of Botany, Tarleton State University "networked" with bryologists to identify some of the species of true mosses included in this publication. Mr. Mike Pittman and Mr. Scott Lerich provided background information on geology and vegetation of Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area that contributed to a portion of the Chihuhuan Desert section.
Special acknowledgment is due Dr. Jim Sprinkle, University of Arizona Area Extension Animal Science Specialist, for directions and details on locations of the ponderosa pine-Arizona fescue forest range that made it possible to include this remarkable cover type. Mr. Jimmy Paz, manager of Sabal Palm Grove Audubon Center & Sanctuary, answered questions, helped with basic plant identification, and provided a partial list of plant species all of which contributed immensely to inclusion of one of the most unique and resticted forest range types in North America.
Well-earned appreciation is expressed to Mr. Bob Mountain and his range survey staff on the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming for help with the confusing array of Poa species growing on the lovely ranges of the foothills, montane zone, and subalpine meadows of that well-managed public land. Thanks to Mrs. Linda Bishop at the Pruitt Ranger Station, Buffalo National River for answering numerous questions about plant species as well as sending check lists of plants growing along tributaries and the corridor of this Ozark Plateau river which is one of the best preserved natural streams left in a settled part of the continent.
Dr. Michael Fountain, Professor and Acting Dean of Forestry, Stephen F. Austin University, gave generously of precious time amid the search for a new dean of the Forestry School to instruct the author in numerous details of forest vegetation, forest management practices, silvics, and dendrology of the Texas Pineywoods. Dr. Fountain's generosity and collegiality extended in a first-class, crash course to this outsider rangeman greated expanded coverage of forest range types, especially loblolly pine, in this part of the Southeast Forest Complex. Seldom did anyone convey as much knowledge in as busy a time as did Dr. Fountain, a natural "goodwill ambassador" from a fellow member of the Agricultural Consortium of Texas.
Miss Melisa Shawcrost, range conservationist with the Bureau of Land Management out of the La Jara field office graciously took the time to provide the author with details of the Foothills Allotment which was the most beautiful natural Indian ricegrass semidesert grassland this author ever saw. Folks, its at the at base of the Sangra de Cristos Range in the San Luis Valley if you want to see a rangeman's Garden of Eden. Thanks to Miss Shawcrost for giving us the specifics of its stewardship.
Enthusiasts on tours sponsored
by North American Prairie Conferences proved to be some of the most knowledgeable,
if less formally educated, students of grasslands "available anywhere".
These folk, who tend to be biologists from obscure Midwestern colleges
and junior colleges or state park systems, often provided insights and
observations on the true and tallgrass prairie types that are not standard
fare among professional rangemen. They were an enlightening crowd of individualists.
Dr.William A. Laycock, Professor of Range Management, University of Wyoming encouraged the author to express his views that more recent interpretations of plant succession such as state-and-transition models were consistent with and additions to the classic Clementsian paradigm rather than replacements of this traditional interpretation of vegetation development.
Mr. Brian Moran of the Western Ecology Division, Environmentap Protection Agency, Corvallis, Oregon graciously and unquestioningly sent "droves" of maps of Ecoregions (Levels III and IV) of many states--including most of the Western Range Region--in rapid response to my requests which made possible inclusion of these ecological units in the publication. Later Miss Beth Timmons, GIS analyst, of Western Ecology Division assumed the role of ecoregion map supplier. These maps were invaluable in delineating and permitting inclusion of ecoregions in descriptions and hierarchial arrangement of range types.(Whoever said that agency bureaucrats were unresponsive to needs of their fellow citizens never dealt with public servants like Brian Moran and Beth Timmons.) Likewise, the wonderful staff at the state (Austin) office of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality graceously and speedily sent along a copy of Ecoregions of Texas, the bound complement to the map of the same name.
Mr. Joel Tuhy, Director of Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy of Utah, kindly went to the trouble to send the author an indespensible list of natural plant communities for Utah and Nevada. This work was a great aid in dealing with Great Basin range vegetation. Mr. Marty Bray, manager of McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge (Jefferson County, Texas), was very knowledgeable about the coastal marshes and explained to the author details of salinity relations among the various bulrush or tule species. Bray's insight combined with his higher education and practical experience contributed much to the treatment of coastal tallgrass prarire and marsh vegetation.
Mr. Broden Staples, branch manager of the Enterprise car rental agency at the Spokane airport pointed the author to location of some the prime channeled scablands ranges of eastern Washington. It is remarkable that some of the best tips in regard to range vegetation come from some of the seemingly least likely sources. Miss Terrace Olson, botanist, Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests provided invaluable insights and assistance in regard to plant identification, species composition, vegetational change and development, and general information on forests of the Northern Cascades.
Mr. Lee O. Voigt, area range
specialist, Natural Resources Consrvation Service stationed in Jamestown,
North Dakota explained in detail the phenomenon of Kentucky bluegrass
invasion of mixed prairies in eastern portions of the Northern Great Plains
as well as occurrence of granitic glacial erratics. Mr. Cory Swenson,
range conservationists, Natural Resoruces Conservation Service, Powder
River, Montana provided a lot of background and general descriptions of
range in southeastern Montana.
The respect and conservative compliment for this publication by former Dean of Agriculture and Technology, Dr. Don Knotts, was especially appreciated for its sincerity and appropriate dignified expression.
A special "thank you"
to the helpful staff of Tarleton's Dick Smith Library, especially to Miss
Linda Nichols, Cathy Hare, and Jane Dickson. Dedicated staffers like these
and the marvelous arrangement of interlibrary loan enable those of us
at small, backwater teaching colleges to have access to knowledge comparable
to faculty at real universities (even if the availability is slower and
half the stuff has to be sent back for proper photocopying).
Mrs. Teresa Svacina and Miss
Shelayna Sanderson were ultimately the two people whose professionalism,
charm, patience, and computer skills enabled publication of the second
and third editions of the project. Words are inadequate for praise and
thanks to these lovely ladies. Their names as the "second generation"
formatters is the most understated acknowledgment herein. They were followed
in a much more brief and less demanding but necessary sucessional order
by Mr. Thiagarajan Ramakrishnan and Prashant Amatya. Miss Sara Best of
the author's "home department" performed yeoman's service that
was indispensible in completing later editions of Range Types.
For example, the prudish, mindless, and constitutionally questionable censorship practices regarding use of the agriculture computer laboratory coupled with the disrespectful treatment and the lack of collegiality by the Tarleton computer services group set into motion a chain of events that delayed publication of an expanded, revised edition of this web publication by five and a half months.
Aid from the computer unit at Tarleton (so-called "Information Resources, Academic Computing Resources") was invariably short of service and long on a relatively high level of incompetence and long response time during the first two editions of this publication. For instance when new, more powerful computers were installed the out-sourcing technician who installed these computers informed "Information Resources" that the hand-me-down computer (but at least, and long last, one with a zip-drive) passed along to this author had a bad hard-drive that needed replacement. When six weeks later nothing was done the author's secretary called Information Resources. Their people came and, as typical, looked and did nothing. Three weeks later the hard-drive cratered and Information Resources was again notified. This time these folks took the computer and installed a new hard-drive. Then they could not reinstall the programs that had been on the old, crashed hard-drive. Two students came and the second one finally installed most of the programs that had been on the old C drive. Then the computer would not print. Now we were into spring break and still no functional computer after Computing Resources had been advised by an impartial knowledgeable technician as to this problem one week before start of the semester. Had Computing Resources gotten on top of the problem when told of it by an impartial party and through proper communication channels there would have been no down time at all. As it was however one half of a semester was required to perform a routine maintenance operation. If this is not incompetence the author has been blessed not to see incompetence.
In subsequent years and for later editions the computing unit became much better staffed and more proficient and responsive to computer-users. Mr. Stephen Wilson was a courteous, extremely knowledgable computer specialist who provided invaluable assistance on several occasions. Mr. Wilson did much to restore confidence in a bureaucratic unit that had heretofore been long on titles and short on installation skills and trouble-shooting. Later, and still under leadership of Mr. Wilson, more outstanding, dedicated people were added to this inadequated funded unit. Mr. Mr. Jeff Stanfield, Technology Support Specialist, was one such super-capable member who provided perfect service.
For approximately the first eight years of Range Types of North America Tarleton State University per se with its plethora of inept, self-serving bureaucrats interfered painfully, indirectly though it was, with this project. Flatulent boasts about "excellence" and "support or backing of the faculty" not withstanding, Tarleton did NOT foster excellence or even mediocrity in collegial non-interference with web authors, let alone in rendering assistance to faculty members slugging through the up-hill battle of on-line publication.
During those extremely trying years publication of the material herein could not have been accomplished through organized campus channels and positions.
Publication was achieved only by the tactics of beg, borrow, bootleg, and bellyache, and by payment for services by the author himself with zero financial or other support from his department or college. There were literally cases when some capable, "computer literate" graduate students and Work-Study students who were being paid by the authors department played video games in the front departmental office while the author had to hire- and pay with his own money -other students to assist in completing this project.
Selfless service "above and beyond the call" by graduate students, fellow professors, and support staff (especially in the Dick Smith Library)- not university personnel shown formally and officially in channels and positions of the irrelevant university organization chart- made the material herein available to www. clientele. It was members of the Tarleton "family" who volunteered their services- not those officials who shirked their duty- and Tarleton State University as an institution- not a top-heavy organization- that enabled presentation of this reference work during that extremely frustrating time.
Perhaps it was expecting or asking too much of a higher education organization devoted strictly to teaching to provide formal assistance in publishing, even with an online teaching reference like this publication. If that is the case, there are two relevant and unarguable, non-debatable points. Point one: Tarleton should not ask nor expect its faculty to publish. As Mr. Shakespeare noted what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Point two: the organization should be honest enough to truthfully call itself a college (the teaching organization in higher education) and not falsely advertise or purport itself to be a university (the research organization in higher education with its origin in the German model). If Tarleton State is not going to provide the support staff and structure for scholarly publication it should replace its counterfeit use of the word "University" with the legitimate term "College" and abandon the Graduate College (the educational unit existing solely for the training of future researchers). Substantial progress has been made in this regard, but the overall problem still exist. This is especially obvious in certain areas of Tarleton's agricultural college where much ado is made of "research" yet peer-reviewed articles in the relevant journals (the "coin of the realm") have not become the standard research publication.
Conditions for on-line publishing of scholarship by independent authors as just described existed for the first eight years of producing this publication. After those tremendously trying years, service through official channels of support and organized university units improved remarkably. For instance, there was the almost unbelievable improvement in service from Computing Resources that was indicated above. As more offices and more staff workers became involved in computer and related classroom technologies at Tarleton State spectacular improvements were made in effeciency, turn-aroung-time, and courtesy for computing activities, including assistance for those who publish on "the Web". Such positive developments apparently defied the oft-seen trend for matters to get worse with increased bureaucracy. Such progrsssive changes went a long way toward rectifying earlier headaches and heartbreaking discouragements, but they cannot completely absolve the organization of its previous ineffectiveness and apathy.
Personal honesty and accurate acknowledgments demanded these specifics and clarifications. In regard to this web site, for about the first eight years Tarleton State University was a paymaster, telephone line, and an address. During that approximate eight-year period Tarleton as an organization deserved credit for nothing else with respect to Range Types of North America. Thereafter, services through official units and channels of Tarleton State University improved phenomenonally. After those trying years of creating obstacles for on-line authors Tarleton State grew into a willing and effective helper for faculty who published on the Web. Still, in the context of giving the devil his due, the administration of Tarleton State University should be acknowledged for its "get even" treatment of the author after the resolution of the bifurcated case of Rosiere versus Thompson. Such use of appointed rank to take unfair advantage, cowardly conduct from which "real men" refrain, taught this worker the deep joy and personal satisfaction that comes when one does indeed work without regard of recognition and reward. Besides, the petty (and largely ineffective) meaness of autocratic, vengeful administrators was offset many fold by the ethical conduct and assistance of countless Tarleton colleagues and staff (even a few fair-minded administrators), the enthusiasm of some knowledge-hungry students, and the informed support of courageous, faithful friends "fit to ride the river with".
These more obvious contributions acknowledged it remains but to state the standard that any errors, imprecise applications, mistaken interpretations, incorrect identifications, and so on are those solely of the author. I accept full blame for inaccuracies or confusion caused by faulty writing. It is emphasized that this collection was donated to the Society for Range Management. The Society did not invite, appoint to, or delegate this work; nor did it officially endorse any of the material contained herein. Comments, conclusions, opinions, perspectives, interpretations of the literature, and viewpoints are mine alone. Duly advised, "Mount Up"!
Rosiere, Professor of Range Management