Skip to Main Content
A synoptic review of U.S. rangelands: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA AssessmentAuthor(s): Matthew Clark Reeves; John E. Mitchell
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-288. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 128 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (16.07 MB)
DescriptionThe Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 requires the USDA Forest Service to conduct assessments of resource conditions. This report fulfills that need and focuses on quantifying extent, productivity, and health of U.S. rangelands. Since 1982, the area of U.S. rangelands has decreased at an average rate of 350,000 acres per year owed mostly to conversion to agricultural and residential land uses. Nationally, rangeland productivity has been steady over the last decade, but the Rocky Mountain Assessment Region appears to have moderately increased productivity since 2000. The forage situation is positive and, from a national perspective, U.S. rangelands can probably support a good deal more animal production than current levels. Sheep numbers continue to decline, horses and goats have increased numbers, and cattle have slightly increased, averaging 97 million animals per year since 2002. Data from numerous sources indicate rangelands are relatively healthy but also highlight the need for consolidation of efforts among land management agencies to improve characterization of rangeland health. The biggest contributors to decreased rangeland health, chiefly invasive species, are factors associated with biotic integrity. Non-native species are present on 50 percent of non-Federal rangelands, often offsetting gains in rangeland health from improved management practices.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationReeves, Matthew Clark; Mitchell, John E. 2012. A synoptic review of U.S. rangelands: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-288. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 128 p.
Keywordsrangeland health, livestock, remote sensing, rangeland extent, grazing, coterminous United States, Renewable Resources Planning Act
- Plant guide: Nineleaf biscuitroot (Lomatium triternatum)
- Plant Guide: Nineleaf biscuitroot (Lomatium triternatum [Pursh] Coulter and Rose)
- Tree cover changes in mamane (Sophora chrysophylla) forests grazed by sheep and cattle
XML: View XML