Retta Bruegger, Western Colorado range management expert, honored by Society for Range Management

Photo of Retta Bruegger overlaid on a watercolor of a Colorado landscape scene

Adapted from a news release by the Society for Range Management.

Retta Bruegger, a range management specialist with CSU Extension focusing on western Colorado, received the Outstanding Young Professional Award from the Society for Range Management at the organization’s annual meeting in February. The award is presented by the Society to an individual member or couple who have demonstrated extraordinary potential and promise as range management professionals. This award is presented as an encouragement for outstanding performance by young men and women entering the profession of range management.

About CSU Extension Range Management

CSU Extension experts provide information about rangelands to support ranchers, land managers, educators, recreationalists, and other stakeholders across Colorado who want to foster healthy working landscapes.

Extension experts provide resources and guidance on topics like: Pasture management, stocking rates, plant identification, seeding feasibility, weed management, wetland and fire rehabilitation, vegetation trend and site potential, soil health, water holding capacity, grazing for recovery and optimizing production

Bruegger’s passionate commitment to rangeland management is evidenced by her extensive professional outputs, and by the trust she has built with colleagues and ranchers in Colorado and nationally.

From her success in Mongolia researching community-based adaptation and climate change, to herding cattle and reducing fuel loads in southern Arizona, Bruegger has been able to grow programming from the ground up, build relationships, and tackle rangeland management Extension challenges with a science-based approach.

Her involvement with the Learning from the Land project in northwestern Colorado and her leadership with the Colorado Drought Advisors and The Rangeland Partnership have contributed to her role as a highly sought rangeland specialist in Colorado and beyond.

Previously, Bruegger worked for CSU’s Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department in western Colorado, with The University of Arizona, and in Mongolia. She holds an MS in Rangeland Ecology and Management from the University of Arizona, and a BA from Colorado College.

She exemplifies the future of the Society for Range Management (SRM) with her creative ideas and unique perspective on rangeland ecology, management, and collaboration. Bruegger has served on the Colorado Section SRM (CSSRM) Board since 2015, including as president in 2022.

Her many contributions to SRM include writing articles, serving as a webmaster, revising bylaws, and organizing a ground-breaking climate change symposium. She was CSSRM’s Outstanding Young Professional in 2016 and the Wildest Woman in Range in 2021.

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