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Land Management Planning for Public Agencies and Profitable Ranches – A Self-Paced Course

Land managers carry a lot of information in their heads, but it can be difficult to transfer those details to others.

As a public or private land manager, you are used to managing issues such as drought, fire, endangered plant and animal species, and more. But how easy is it to communicate these issues to others?

Rangeland Management Online Course

Our Land Management Planning Geographic Information System (GIS) online class will help you build the skills needed to develop an invaluable land management plan and virtual map.

In other words, you (or your team) will be brought up to speed - today. And because the program is virtual, you will gain all the valuable insights without having to travel and visit the sites in person, which will save on travel time and expenses. 

You'll also gain the skills and language to communicate your goals and objectives with the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Land Management, other land managers, and even people on your own team.

NOTE: If you're part of a department or angency, we offer easy bulk enrollment and/or customized training options. Please contact us for more information!

Develop Land Management Plans

This self-paced land management planning program contains over 100 video lectures that can help you build the skills needed to develop land management plans and build a virtual map of the lands you manage.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Effectively utilize Google Earth Pro (GEP) tools for rangeland and irrigated pastures.
  • Develop a threat-based land management ecological framework.
  • Classify private and public rangelands that you manage.
  • Create easily shareable digital land management plans for private and public rangelands.
  • Effectively utilize GIS tools to create land management plans for healthy and productive rangelands and irrigated pastures.

You will also learn essential principles of GIS tools to create a virtual map of managed lands with your own pictures and data within GEP.

Learn GIS Tools for Mapping Rangelands and Irrigated Pastures

In this class you will learn how to effectively utilize GIS tools from Oregon State University Extension faculty in a variety of areas. The lecture and modules build off one another, ensuring that you can master these tools and methods.

At the end of the course, you should be able to use free or inexpensive GIS tools to create a land management plan that increases the profitability of the land you manage.

The focused curriculum of this GIS course was developed by an interdisciplinary group of Extension Service personnel at Oregon State to help:

  • Rangeland managers in the Northern Great Basin – South to Southeast Oregon, Southern Idaho, Northern Nevada.
  • Rangeland managers in the sage brush steppe, including rangeland consultants.
  • Extension service personnel and nonprofit organizations in natural resources.

If you manage public or private land in the west or work with those who do, you will likely benefit from this program.

Effectively Develop and Communicate Your Land Management Plan

This class will help you develop more effective land management plans. You will learn how to download and utilize historical files for your ranch, including historical fire boundaries, water sources, endangered species habitats and geographical data. Utilizing this information, you will be able to better identify ways to improve conditions and, importantly, communicate this information to others in an effective way.

Gathering and documenting this data in a visually impactful way can help you:

  • Pursue public funding to help with ecological improvements.
  • Gather and show required data and mapping to pursue government funds.
  • Communicate with the general public about how you manage public lands in a transparent fashion.

You will also ensure your land management plans live on, allowing these lessons and information to transfer to others.

About This Land Management Online Course

In this online Land Management Planning for Public Agencies and Profitable Ranches program, you will be provided a basic foundation in ecology, GIS, and land management planning through dynamic presentations, videos, and specific tasks that you need to complete on rangelands and/or irrigated pastures.

Land Management Course Schedule


Module 1 highlights the basics of Google Earth Pro, GIS, and Land Management Planning. You will have the opportunity explore tools that will be most useful in assessing the land that you manage. Module 1 will provide a GIS and land management framework, upon which you can build your land management plans. 


Module 2 introduces threat-based management of sagebrush rangelands, including terminology to help you communicate with a wide variety of land managers. While the information in this module focuses on sagebrush rangelands of the Great Basin, it may be adapted to sagebrush rangelands across the Western United States.


Module 3 prepares you to apply threat-based land management within Google Earth Pro and on rangelands. In this module, you are encouraged to use your knowledge of the ecology within your land management context.


Module 4 is for land managers who also manage irrigated pastures. This module provides an overview of irrigated forage production practices.


Module 5 highlights the use of GIS tools on public and private lands. This module encourages you to collect data you want to map and include in your management plan, and provides you with the tools to do so.


Module 6 will walk you through the process of important and mapping GIS data using Google Earth Pro. The premise is that data are only good if you’re able to access them and use them for practical purposes.


Module 7 is the final module in the course and walks you through the steps of developing your own land management plan that integrates all the information you’ve gathered.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program you will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of land management plans for rangelands and/or irrigated pastures.
  • Identify GIS tools are used to develop land management plans.
  • Classify ecological conditions using the threat-based land management model on sagebrush rangelands.
  • Illustrate ecological conditions on public and/or private lands.
  • Outline land management plans based on GEP imagery.
  • Arrange land management data according to pasture.
  • Summarize the decisions incorporated in your land management plan.
On demand. Access any time.
Approximately 12 hours
price (2)
$200 (+ $60 registration fee)
Additional Information: 12 CEUs for Certified Professionals in Rangeland Management

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number


Sergio Arispe

Sergio Arispe, Ph.D. is the GEP-GIS PACE Course Team Leader. Since 2014, he has served as the Livestock & Rangeland Field Faculty in Malheur County, located in southeastern Oregon, where he works with public and private land managers to become familiar with tools that can address threats to the sagebrush steppe ecosystem and rangeland-based businesses.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson has worked over 12 years for Oregon State University, first as a Livestock and Rangeland Extension Agent in Harney County and now as the OSU Rangeland Outreach Coordinator at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center.   The focus of his outreach and applied research includes developing resilient natural resource and livestock management systems, improving the success of rangeland restoration efforts, identifying management practices that enhance the productivity and resiliency of rangeland and wetland habitats, and facilitating landowner and grazing permittee participation in cooperative rangeland assessment and monitoring programs.    

Vanessa Schroeder

Vanessa Schroeder is one of the GEP-GIS PACE course instructors. She has worked as a faculty research assistant for Oregon State University since 2016, focusing her research and extension programs on supporting wildlife and ranching in sagebrush ecosystems.

Christy Tanner

Christy Tanner is one of the GEP-GIS PACE course instructors. Since 2018 she has served as the field crops and watershed management field faculty member in Malheur County. Her extension and research programs help farmers produce food, forage and seed crops economically, while conserving water, and reducing erosion.

Chris Schachtschneider

Since 2016, Chris works with producers and land managers on monitoring, management plan development, and stockmanship. He uses these tools to guide public perception of livestock production from “Using pastures to feed cattle” to “Using cattle to shape our landscapes.”

Ian McGregor

Livestock/Forages/Irrigation Field Faculty—Klamath County

April Hulet

April Hulet, Ph.D. worked for the University of Idaho as the Extension Rangeland Specialist from 2015-2021.  Currently at Brigham Young University, April continues to work with the public, land management agencies, and non-governmental organizations to promote sustainable and productive rangelands throughout sagebrush rangelands in the western US. Her primary research interests focus on restoration ecology, fire ecology, and remote sensing and GIS applications on rangeland ecosystems.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.