Quantifying Plant Growth Response and Environmental Benefits Derived from Implementing Grazing Land Conservation Practices
Great Basin Rangelands Research
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The Soil and Water Conservation Society is undertaking a cooperative project with the Agricultural Research Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to document the status of knowledge regarding the effect of conservation practices applied to grazing lands across the United States. The primary purpose is to construct the scientific foundation for the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) by documenting what is known and what is not known about the environmental effects of conservation practices on plant growth processes and responses to treatments. The work will focus on the effects of conservation practices applied to grazing lands on the following environmental outcomes: water availability, water quality, soil quality, habitat, forage availability, and fuel reductions.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The Soil and Water Conservation Society will assist in synthesizing the appropriate literature and expert opinion to document the effect of modeling plant communities by different functional plant groupings on ability the detect benefits of conservation practices on six basic resource concerns; (1) water availability, (2) water quality, (3) Soil quality, (4) Net Primary Productivity, (5) Habitat/landscape fragmentation for the Great Basin, and (6) wildlife benefits.
This project was established in support of Objective 2 of the in-house project: Devise management guidelines, technologies, and practices for conserving and restoring Great Basin rangelands. This project was initiated in May 2011 and sponsored a special symposium on quantifying benefits of rangeland conservation practices on July 18 at the annual Soil and Water Conservation Society annual meeting in Washington, D.C. ARS and Soil and Water Conservation Society representatives meet in July and will meet again in November to plan a 3-day training workshop on use of ARS assessment tools to be delivered at the 2012 Soil and Water Conservation Society annual conference in Ft. Worth Texas. Soil and Water Conservation Society project manager and Agricultural Research Service project leader have monthly teleconferences to track progress on the project.