1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
This MOU affirms ARS commitment to provide scientific support to both BLM and NRCS on development of ecological site descriptions, state and transition models, measurement and monitoring designs and technical methods, and development of protocols for analysis and interpretation of monitoring data in support of the National Resources Inventory (NRI).
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
ARS will collaborate with BLM and NRCS to increase the quality and utility of monitoring data for NRCS and BLM, and to answer rangeland research questions. This will include providing scientific guidance for the NRI necessary to ensure that (1) a core set of indicators and standard protocols can be sampled across jurisdictional boundaries, (2) sampling points on the NRI grid can be intensified in identified core sage-grouse habitats, (3) data analysis and reporting allow for reporting and sharing at multiple scales, (4) remote sensing and geo-spatial tools can be integrated and applied, (5) ecological site descriptions (ESD's) and state and transition models can be developed, (6) appropriate field training can be provided, and (7) the quality and utility of NRCS and BLM monitoring data can be increased.
In 2011, we provided scientific support to BLM and NRCS in their joint implementation of the NRCS National Resources Inventory on BLM lands. This included indicator selection for first year reporting, guidance on design of the study, and training. This project will provide the first integrated report on the status of the majority of the nation's rangelands, building on the recently completed report for non-federal rangelands.
On-site meetings occurred with BLM and NRCS, as did e-mail correspondence and telephone communication.