Location: Rangeland Resources Research
Title: Dual-Resolution Aerial Assessments of Pipeline Revegetation Authors
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2008
Publication Date: March 18, 2009
Citation: Booth, D.T., Cox, S.E. 2009. Dual-Resolution Aerial Assessments of Pipeline Revegetation. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts No. 120-4. Technical Abstract: Energy-extraction results in significant disturbance to rangelands in Wyoming and other western US states. Although reclamation is required by law, US General Accounting Office reports from 1999 and 2005 are clear that affected government agencies have—over much of the past decade—had difficulty accomplishing mandated environmental monitoring of extraction-related disturbance. We evaluated two pipeline rights of way (ROW) using nested images (1- or 2- with 13- or 20-mm ground sample distance (GSD)) acquired during Very-Large Scale Aerial (VLSA) surveys. Aerial monitoring allowed for the collection of large numbers of geocoded samples, and for subsequent cover measurements using methods with demonstrated accuracy equal to that of conventional ground-based methods. Both pipelines had vegetative-cover deficiencies relative to their Plan of Development (POD) requirements. Using bare ground and ground-cover measurements from the higher-resolution imagery, we present a spatial representation of each pipeline ROW that allows quick identification of sections of the ROW that may need further reclamation action to meet POD standards. We also present aerial monitoring costs. We recommend VLSA pipeline surveys as a means for facilitating required environmental monitoring and for addressing the monitoring backlog that has developed with increased energy-extraction activity.