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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Grazing Land Ceap Assessment

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

Project Number: 5342-12660-005-06
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Jun 01, 2012
End Date: May 30, 2015

Objective:
Principal focus of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) effort is to produce national and regional assessments of environmental benefits/impacts of conservation programs to support policy decision and program implementation grazing lands by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). CEAP research team will conduct cooperative research and implementation activities on restoration of sagebrush steppe and pinyon-juniper woodlands communities in the Great Basin; Assess National soil loss on rangelands; and Assess benefits/impacts of conservation in western rangeland watersheds using the AGWA-SWAT and APEX models.

Approach:
Conduct rainfall simulation studies to assess impacts on invasive species (cheatgrass and pinyon and juniper species) on soil loss and rangeland health to enhance the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEN). Develop a relational database (Hydrologic Unit Model of the United States: HUMUS) from ARS historical watershed data and data from other public sources (i.e., USGS, NRCS, EPA, BLM, USFS, NASA, and NOAA). This relational database will then be used to extend experimental data being collected by ARS to evaluate and improve the RHEM, Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) models abilities to quantify the impact of conservation practices. The validated models will then be applied to estimate the impact of conservation practices on water quality, soil quality, sustainability of rangeland ecosystems, and wildlife habitat in regional and national assessments in partnership with the NRCS.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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