The inherently multidisciplinary nature of rangeland science meant that for nearly a century, University of Idaho’s research, education, and outreach professionals in range never worked together as a unit.
In 2009, the College of Natural Resources saw the creation of the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences. This sparked an opportunity for the University of Idaho to take a leadership role in the West, building a new, broader, and stronger identity for science that can be applied to the stewardship of rangeland landscapes.
Creation of the Rangeland Center was initiated in the spring of 2010, when deans of the Colleges of Natural Resources, and Agricultural and Life Sciences, empowered now-Rangeland Center Director Karen Launchbaugh and other rangeland faculty to pursue options for collaboration. This novel endeavor, shaped by U of I faculty and rangeland stakeholders in Idaho, led to the University of Idaho Rangeland Center’s establishment in 2011. The Center was soon adopted into Idaho legislative code in early 2012.