Location: Range Management Research
Project Number: 3050-11210-007-17-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Feb 1, 2013
End Date: May 31, 2017
1) Develop data-driven approaches in the production of ecological site descriptions for New Mexico and the Western U.S.; 2) Improve technologies for monitoring and assessing rangelands, and 3) Evaluate historic, current, and new restoration practices for public and private rangeland.
Obj. 1 is shared by the Natural Resource Conservation Service where we methodically and systematically collect and interpret data required to develop ecological site descriptions. These ESDs are used to create landscape scale maps of regional rangelands that are then used to scientifically evaluate past conservation practices at management scales. Obj. 2 is shared by the Bureau of Land Management. We are identifying indicators of land health suitable for management scale application. These indicators will be incorporated into the BLM Assess, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) strategy and evaluated for their effectiveness in quantifying current status of western public rangelands in the southwest. Obj. 3 is shared by several U.S. agencies where we are evaluating large landscape-scale restoration treatments in a quantitative scientific manner. Specifically, we will scientifically evaluate BLM's "Restore NM" program where large tracts of public rangeland have been treated with herbicides for shrub control. We will provide BLM with a science based evaluation of these conservation treatments and site-based recommendations for future practices.