2016 EXEMPLARY SERVICE AWARD
PACIFIC NORTHWEST SECTION/SOCIETY FOR RANGE MANAGEMENT
Can you imagine a person who after a full career in the US Air Force—who obtained the rank of Colonel–who has a PhD in history—and who taught at the Air Force Academy might return to school and earn an additional degree in Rangeland Management and then embark on another full career as one of the premier rangeland specialists in the West?!
Our very own Bob Ehrhart has done just that. Upon completion of an advanced, technical range management degree at the University of Montana, Bob went to work for the University of Montana as a teacher of Rangelands and as a rangeland and riparian specialist. There he led numerous workshops and established and published a 5-yr. grazing in riparian zones study which has long been one of the familiar and well quoted tomes concerning rangeland riparian management– in fact it is still being used by the National Riparian Service Team as one of their teaching tools! He helped develop Alberta, Canada’s Cows and Fish Program during the mid-1990’s, and while still in Montana, he authored the “Stream and Riparian Area Management” publication—a rancher oriented video-based course which has over 1000 copies still in circulation across the nation and beyond.
After seven years in Montana, Bob was lured to Oregon where he became a professor at Oregon State University in 1999. He was initially stationed at the OSU Cascades Campus in Bend where he was instrumental in getting the Natural Resources Unit off to a good start; where he taught face–to-face classes; and where he was the Distance Education specialist for the OSU Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences. Upon retirement for the second time in 2005, Dr. Ehrhart was enticed to continue his range management Distance Education efforts for OSU, albeit he did it distance…..from New Mexico and more recently from McMinnville, Oregon. Now formally retired for the third time, one would think that Dr. Ehrhart would be enjoying a well-earned rest.
Happily for us this is not the case! Bob continues to be active in the PNW. He still participates in rangeland field trips where his reputation as a skilled manager and as a dedicated teacher is regularly on display! Most recently, Bob was part of a dedicated cadre who led a several day, wildly successful, OSU Honors College “Oregon Outback” field ecology (read Rangeland Management) camping trip this past September. A frequently heard comment by others in the profession is “Do you know Dr. Ehrhart? He was the best teacher I had in my college career!” In addition to his contributions to teaching and leading field exercises, Bob is active in the PNW as a strong participant in meetings, tours, and discussions. He is the Chairperson of the 2016 PNW Annual Meeting, responsible for the logistics, tour, meeting spaces, and food/entertainment of this annual gathering of the PNW range management faithful.
Dr. Robert Ehrhart is a dedicated, long standing member of the Society for Range Management and a valued and respected member of the Pacific Northwest Section. He has earned his spurs over and over again, proving, repeatedly, that he has the spirit and the willingness to share his talent. The PNW is better because of him. We are all privileged to know him and to serve as his colleagues!