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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS Title: Consistent indicators and methods and a scalable sample design to meet assessment, inventory, and monitoring information needs across scales

Authors
item Toevs, Gordon -
item Karl, Jason
item Taylor, Jason -
item Spurrier, Carol -
item Karl, Michael -
item Bobo, Matthew -
item Herrick, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2011
Publication Date: August 22, 2011
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57498
Citation: Toevs, G., Karl, J.W., Taylor, J., Spurrier, C., Karl, M., Bobo, M., Herrick, J.E. 2011. Consistent indicators and methods and a scalable sample design to meet assessment, inventory, and monitoring information needs across scales. Rangelands. 33(4):14-20.

Interpretive Summary: An assessment, inventory and monitoring approach built on consistent indicators of ecological function and capacity (that can be supplemented with additional indicators for local needs) can provide data that could be combined to address multiple needs at multiple scales. The ability to combine sets of observations collected at different locations and for different purposes requires both consistent methods and sample design. The BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy supports an integrated approach that includes three components: 1) a standard set of field measurement indicators and associated methods for terrestrial vegetation and soils that reflect the status of key attributes of ecosystem sustainability ; 2) a statistically valid sampling framework that allows datasets collected in different areas and for different objectives to be aggregated at different scales to address regional and national information needs; and 3) integration of remote sensing and ground-based technologies to maximize BLM’s capacity to cost-effectively address management questions at multiple spatial scales. Application of the AIM Strategy indicators and methods will help reduce error and increase compatibility among BLM sampling efforts. While generic enough to be accepted by a wide range of users and provide a variety of measures applicable to many different management objectives, the indicators and methods presented here can and should be supplemented by additional indicators to address local needs.

Technical Abstract: Within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as in many land management agencies throughout the world, much effort is invested in monitoring and assessment for specific management needs. The BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy was initiated, in part, to evaluate and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring activities. A goal of the AIM Strategy is to provide the BLM and its partners with information needed to understand terrestrial resource location and abundance, condition, and trend, and to provide a basis for effective adaptive management. The Strategy supports an integrated approach that includes three components: 1) a standard set of field measurement indicators and associated methods for terrestrial vegetation and soils that reflect the status of key attributes of ecosystem sustainability ; 2) a statistically valid sampling framework that allows datasets collected in different areas and for different objectives to be aggregated at different scales to address regional and national information needs; and 3) integration of remote sensing and ground-based technologies to maximize BLM’s capacity to cost-effectively address management questions at multiple spatial scales. Collectively, these components help ensure that data collected to support local decision-making are defensible and can be easily integrated to address multiple questions at multiple scales. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the three components.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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