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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337734

Title: The rangeland management and soil health connection

item BROWN, JOEL - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2016
Publication Date: 1/29/2017
Citation: Brown, J.R., Herrick, J.E. 2017. The rangeland management and soil health connection [abstract]. Society for Range Management. Jan 29-Feb 2, 2017, St. George, UT.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil health is defined as the capacity of soil to function and provide ecosystem services to society. The importance of managing for the improvement and maintenance of soil health transcends political boundaries, generations, societies and languages. The challenge of communicating soil health concepts and motivating action lies in the incredible complexity of soil types, land uses, management practices and ecosystem services. Developing and implementing a successful institutional soil health effort requires credible approaches to determine baseline conditions, accurately measure change over management-relevant time, identify threats and establish relationships to human and natural drivers. While soil health indicators are a valuable addition to the assessment of rangelands, they are merely one of several necessary attributes required to develop a true picture. Developing and applying indicators of soil health (or any indicator) on rangelands is entirely context dependent. That context is provided by Ecological Sites and is organized, interpreted and communicated via Ecological Site Descriptions (particularly State and Transition Models). This approach will allow us to develop a protocol for the site specific assessment of the economic value of soil health improvement.