|Simonds, Gregg - OPEN RANGE CONSULTING|
|Sant, E - OPEN RANGE CONSULTING|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2008
Publication Date: March 10, 2008
Citation: Booth, D.T., Cox, S.E., Simonds, G., Sant, E. 2008. Monitoring riparian response to prescription grazing with low-altitude aerial surveys. In: 12th Biennial USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications. Abstract, page 35. CDROM. Technical Abstract: Prescription grazing (controlling grazing animals to achieve a specified conservation objective) is a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service approved practice. But, there is no approved means for assessing the success or failure of extensive-area grazing prescriptions. In 2003 a prescription grazing plan was implemented on the Rock Creek watershed in northeast Nevada to promote habitat recovery for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. In September of 2004 and 2006 we flew aerial surveys to acquire 2-cm ground sample distance imagery over 170 km of watershed streams. Between surveys, the watershed experienced three major wildfires totaling ~200,000 acres. A comparison of 2004 and 2006 images revealed: Wider riparian areas in 2006 Increases or no change in riparian vegetation Some fire-related willow-cover decreases Averaged across all streams, willow canopy increased 55% We conclude our survey methods are an effective means for assessing habitat improvement resulting from prescribed grazing.