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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Research Project #432719

Research Project: Application of Assessment and Monitoring Tools for Adaptive Management of Large Ranch Landscapes

Location: Range Management Research

Project Number: 3050-11210-009-009-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2017
End Date: May 31, 2022

The objective of this cooperative research project is to build on earlier research to apply assessment and monitoring tools to assist adaptive management in large ranch landscapes. Specifically, we aim to integrate soil and ecological state mapping with remote sensing, field-based monitoring, and local knowledge to interpret ecological change, identify intervention options, and communicate this information via Malpai Borderlands Group (MBG) collaborative activities to landowners. In doing so, we will learn how these tools can be applied, integrated, and improved for use in ranch decision-making via individual ranchers and collaborative groups throughout the western U.S.

In the next agreement, we will collaborate with MBG staff on the following activities: 1) analyze and interpret existing long-term monitoring data, 2) test new approaches for detailed soil and state mapping, 3) improve ecological site interpretations, 4) use remote-sensing based approaches to detect spatial and temporal change in the MBG planning area, and 5) integrate information from maps, field monitoring, and remote sensing to develop interpretations of rangeland change, the effects of past restoration activities (especially the use of prescribed fire), and to identify restoration options for specific parts of the landscape. In addition, we will collaborate on presentations for the annual science and written materials as a means of disseminating information, and ARS will receive feedback on tools and approaches from MBG staff.