Range Management Club shows its
plant knowledge at competition
By Marie Christensen
March 23, 2006 | Identifying specific plants by their
stems and buds is no easy task -- just ask James Stuart.
He along with six other members of Utah State University's
Range Management Club took on the task at an international
competition sponsored by the Society for Range Management.
"Range plant identification is very difficult," Stuart
said. "You're not looking at full plants."
Plant identification is one of several contests the
students participated in last month at the competition
held in Vancouver, British Columbia and left home satisfied
with the results.
Stuart placed fifth in the public speaking category
behind Club President John Reese, who placed second.
The club as a whole placed third as well in the poster
contest, receiving a cash prize.
"We've improved a lot from last year," Stuart said.
"We felt like we're taking steps in the right direction."
The competition also includes a two-hour test called
the Undergraduate Range Management Exam that includes
127 questions on different areas of range management.
"Everything that we'll learn here in the university
in four years is put all together," Stuart said.
Aside from participating the competition provides
an opportunity for USU students to interact with professionals
in their field of study and receive hands-on experience,
"The most beneficial thing of the conference is interacting
with professionals," Reese said. "The goal of it is
basically to get students involved at a professional
Stuart said he received 15 job offers while he was
at the competition. Reese hopes they will be able to
get 12 to 15 students to attend the competition next
year in Reno, Nev. They have already begun raising money
for it, he said.
In conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management,
members of the club are cutting down juniper trees and
selling the posts for about $5 to $7. They already have
300 posted ordered, Reese said.
In addition, they will also be holding a symposium
with a guest speaker and invite ranchers and government
There are currently about 25 members of the club.
Those interested in joining can attend a meeting Tuesday
at 6:30 p.m. in the atrium of the College of Natural