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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Quantifying Plant Growth Response and Environmental Benefits Derived from Implementing Grazing Land Conservation Practices

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

2012 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.


3.Progress Report:

This research directly supports objective 2: Devise management guidelines, technologies, and practices for conserving and restoring Great Basin rangelands. Specifically Sub-objective 2.1: 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.

The book Conservation Benefits of Rangeland Practices: Assessment, Recommendations, and Knowledge Gaps and Executive Summary of the book have been published by Allen Press. A peer reviewed article entitled Rangeland CEAP: An assessment of Conservation Practices has been developed and submitted for publications. Plans are being developed to publish a book on benefits of conservation on pasture lands.


Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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