What is the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program (IHRMP)?
To maintain, and where possible, increase the acreage of California’s hardwood range resources to provide wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, livestock products, high quality water supply, and aesthetic value.
California oak woodlands cover approximately 8 million acres. They occur mostly on private ranches that are managed for livestock production. These privately-owned woodlands provide beauty, wildlife habitat, clean water and air, watershed protection, and recreation for all Californians. During the early 1980s various interest groups expressed concern that these values were threatened, primarily by poor oak tree regeneration and oak removals for firewood and exurban development. In response, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection asked the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the US Forest Service, and the University of California to develop a program of research, outreach, and monitoring that would be responsive to these issues. The program became the UC Division of Ag and Natural Resources Special Program: Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program (IHRMP). The former Oak Woodland Management Website (now UC Oaks) is one of the outreach tools created by the IHRMP. Since 1995, it has been a repository of research-based information and outreach on the ecology, management, and conservation of California’s oak woodland resources. Indeed, the website receives over 45,000 hits per year. Recent staff retirements, together with the availability of new technology and science-based information, called for a need for an update of the website’s design and content. For this, a 2017-2018 Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Capacity Grant made the website more attractive, updated and added information, and increased its accessibility and usefulness.
Oak Woodland Conservation Workgroup
During the IHRMP, the Oak Woodland Conservation Workgroup promoted and facilitated collaborative approaches to the rising concerns about the state’s oak woodland resources. The Oak Workgroup fostered interaction among UC and California State University faculty, UC Cooperative Extension, State Agencies, and interested public. The IHRMP as a UC Special Program dissolved in 2010. Nonetheless, the Oak Woodland Conservation Workgroup continues as a key Extension tool to update and keep running the most crucial IHRMP research and outreach efforts. The Oak Workgroup took a key role in the update of the UC Oaks Website and it maintains the site going forward.