Recent Proposals for Evaluating the Status of Rangeland Resources

Dissatisfaction with long-standing procedures to describe and interpret range condition and range trend has stimulated much discussion concerning alternative approaches to assess the status of rangeland resources. New approaches have been proposed to accommodate modern ecological theory and the demands of multiple use management. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a single procedure or index is unable to simultaneously satisfy the goals of ecological assessment and multiple use management. Therefore, most of the initiatives focus on either singularly assessing the status of rangeland resources, or presenting interpretations related to land use planning and management. Furthermore, many of these proposals have been developed or endorsed by national committees, representing the interests of many land management agencies and clients, which may encourage the adoption of common techniques. A selection of these topical initiatives are discussed in further detail.

References and Further Reading

National Research Council. 1994. Rangeland health: New methods to classify, inventory and monitor rangelands. National Academy Press. pp. 180.

Task Group on Unity in Concepts and Terminology. 1995. New concepts for assessment of range condition. Journal of Range Management 48:271-282.

West, N.E., McDaniel, K., Smith, E.L., and S. Leonard. 1994. Monitoring and interpreting ecological integrity on arid and semi-arid lands of the western United States. Range Improvement Task Force, Las Cruces, NM. pp. 1-15.