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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #259463

Title: Vegetation maps at the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act (1934): A baseline to evaluate rangeland change after a regime shift

Author
item SKAGGS, RHONDA - New Mexico State University
item EDWARDS, ZACH - New Mexico State University
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item WRIGHT, JOHN - New Mexico State University
item WILLIAMSON, JEB - New Mexico State University
item SMITH, PHILIP - Bureau Of Land Management

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2010
Publication Date: 2/1/2011
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57491
Citation: Skaggs, R., Edwards, Z., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Wright, J.B., Williamson, J., Smith, P. 2011. Vegetation maps at the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act (1934): A baseline to evaluate rangeland change after a regime shift. Rangelands. 33(1):13-19.

Interpretive Summary: We describe the production and use of a digital vegetation map based on paper maps of vegetation produced in the 1930s across areas in the western US administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The maps provide a critical baseline for evaluation of the effects of the Taylor Grazing Act on vegetation conditions in US rangelands.

Technical Abstract: Data from New Mexico range survey maps created shortly after the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act in 1934 have been preserved and are being used to document changes in vegetation. The range survey data were collected at the time of a critical shift in rangeland policy and practice in federal lands of the United States. This paper describes the historical context of the post-Taylor range surveying, documents the process of creating the 1930s vegetation cover data from the maps, and illustrates how the data are being used to understand patterns of ecosystem change.