Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2010
Publication Date: 7/17/2011
Citation: Weltz, M.A. 2011. Environmental outcomes of conservation practices applied to grazing lands [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society. 1:43.
Technical Abstract: For more than 20 years, NRCS has assessed the expected physical effects of conservation systems and practices in the context of ecological, economic, and social considerations. This has been done in a very qualitative fashion and is known as the Conservation Practice Physical Effects matrix (CPPE). The symposium will present how new understandings in science from synthesis of published literature can be integrated with professional knowledge and expertise acquired in the field to better inform conservation. The symposium will review current conditions of non¬federal rangelands across the 17 western states using data derived from the NRCS National Resource Inventory and new quantitative methods for assessing the benefits of conservation on rangelands and pasture lands. The symposium will discuss our current knowledge about the distribution of soil erosion and invasive species on non-federal rangelands and how new metrics to measure the sustainability of rangelands maybe more efficient then using average annual soil loss. The speakers will describe USDA's current capacity to estimate conservation benefits at the watershed scale and how we can evaluate net cumulative benefits of layered conservation practices to assess ecosystem services provided by grazing land landscapes. In conclusion the speakers will identify gaps in our knowledge of how to quantify benefits from rangeland and pasture land conservation practices and areas that need additional research if we are to quantify benefits and ecosystem services from conservation practices at hillslope, watershed, and river basin scales.