Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research
2013 Annual Report
Over the last three years the ARS, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) developed and implemented a series of training courses on development and use of Ecological Site Descriptions. To date, eight workshops have been held, and over 350 state and federal agency staff have been trained on use of this new technology through June of 2013. The planning committee is evaluating the possibilities to extend this work through 2015. The planning committee has scheduled an additional four (4) regional workshops pending available funding in FY 2013 and 2014.
Due to sequestration and reduction of funds in FY 2013 across the federal government, no on-site training will be implemented in FY 2013. Training will resume in FY 2014 as funding will permit. To provide a more efficient means of training, agency staff from the Society of Range Management (SRM), NRCS, BLM, and ARS will allocate funds to develop a series of webinars that can be viewed on demand by agency staff and hosted by the SRM. Although this will not completely replace the value of on-site training, it will provide the agencies a means of providing background material to staff. In addition, contact information of technical experts will be provided to employees if they have technical questions on how to conduct Rangeland Health and/or develop and use Ecological Site Descriptions.
This agreement is related to objective 3 of the in-house project, "Develop and transfer innovative management approaches and technology for conserving and rehabilitating sagebrush, pinyon/juniper woodlands, and salt desert shrublands to meet natural resource and agricultural production goals". More specifically, to develop an integrated package of ground-based and remote sensing tools to quantify and assess the environmental impact of management decisions and conservation practices at hillslope and landscape scales in woodland, shrub-steppe, and desert ecosystems of the Great Basin.