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Title: Status and updates to the rangeland health model

item PELLANT, MIKE - Bureau Of Land Management
item PYKE, DAVID - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item SHAVER, PATRICK - Oregon State University
item BUSBY, FEE - Utah State University
item RIEGEL, GREGG - Us Forest Service (FS)
item LEPAK, NIKA - Bureau Of Land Management
item Newingham, Beth
item KACHERGIS, EMILY - Bureau Of Land Management
item Toledo, David

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2016
Publication Date: 1/29/2017
Citation: Pellant, M., Pyke, D., Herrick, J.E., Shaver, P., Busby, F., Riegel, G., Lepak, N., Newingham, B.A., Kachergis, E., Toledo, D.N. 2017. Status and updates to the rangeland health model. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. 161-2.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Development of the widely applied rangeland health protocol, “Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health” (IIRH) was stimulated by the publication of the National Research Council’s 1994 publication, Rangeland Health: New Methods to Classify, Inventory, and Monitor Rangelands. In a parallel effort, the Society for Rangeland Management’s committee on Unity in Concepts and Terminology recommended that rangeland assessments should focus on the maintenance of soil integrity. Since then an interagency team from the BLM, NRCS, ARS, USGS, academia (Utah State University) and more recently the USFS have worked together to incorporate and revise IIRH. This protocol uses a combination of observable and measurable indicators to interpret and assess rangeland health. Published interagency technical references were updated in 2000 (Version 3) and 2005 (Version 4). Changes for the 2017 edition (Version 5) are in response to input from a large number of users of Versions 3 and 4 and are designed to improve the consistency of the application and interpretations made from the protocol. The indicators and attributes in Versions 3, 4 and 5 are essentially unchanged providing a consistent foundation for applying this protocol. A key clarification in Version 5 is that the reference sheet is based on the natural range of variability associated with the natural disturbance regime within the reference state, not the entire reference state. A Reference Sheet Checklist has been included to assist reference sheet developers or modifiers better describe the status and range of natural variability for each indicator in the Reference Sheet. Some indicator names and their associated narratives have been slightly modified and the approach to assess the Functional/Structure Groups indicator has been clarified to improve user application. A Version 5 draft will be circulated for review and field testing in 2017 with a goal to finalize and publish Version 5 in early 2018.