Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Arizona are working together to improve management of private grazing lands through new research and improved technology. The ARS has been developing multiple objective decision support systems that will help NRCS evaluate complex natural resource concerns and rangeland management alternatives. The NRCS examines soil, water, air, plant, animal, and human (SWAPA+H) values when providing conservation planning assistance to private grazing lands. New concepts in range management, such as Rangeland Health and state and transition theories will become the focus of research to begin incorporating Rangeland Health into SWAPA+H. Two historical databases that have and will continue to provide valuable information are the USDA-NRCS National Soils Database and the National Ecological Site Descriptions for Rangeland. Since the 1960s, USDA-NRCS has been using the soil and ecological site databases as the basic units of a hierarchical classification system called Major Land Resource Areas (MLRA's). This system provides a basis for making decisions about national and regional agricultural concerns, helps identify needs for research and resource inventories, provides a broad base for extrapolating the results of research within national boundaries, and serves as a framework for organizing and operating resource conservation programs.