Skip to Main Content
Indicators of rangeland health and functionality in the Intermountain WestAuthor(s): Renee A. O'Brien; Curtis M. Johnson; Andrea M. Wilson; Van C. Elsbernd
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-104. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 13 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (160 KB)
DescriptionRangelands comprise about 42 percent of the land area of the United States and provide vital land functions such as watershed, multiple-use, recreation, and other amenities. Currently, we do not know the status and trends of many of our nation's rangelands, and consistent protocols for describing rangeland system dynamics across land management agencies are lacking. Various Federal land management agencies have responsibility for rangeland inventory and assessments that characterize the health of the nation's rangelands. Many efforts have been initiated to standardize an approach to large-scale monitoring and assessment of rangelands, but none are universally accepted.
This paper describes four rangeland health indicators and interpretation criteria that can be used to characterize rangeland health and functionality. The four indicators tested in this study-noxious weeds, ground cover, species composition, and shrub cover-proved to be viable indicators of rangeland health and functionality. The paper recommends that these indicators can be used at many scales, from the site level for local planning, to State and national levels for strategic planning.
- 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.
CitationO''Brien, Renee A.; Johnson, Curtis M.; Wilson, Andrea M.; Elsbernd, Van C. 2003. Indicators of rangeland health and functionality in the Intermountain West. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-104. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 13 p.
Keywordsrangeland health, functionality, indicators, bare ground, noxious weeds, species composition
- A synoptic review of U.S. rangelands: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment
- Application of rangeland health indicators on forested plots on the Fishlake National Forest, Utah
- Assessing ecological integrity using multiscale information from Bureau of Land Management Assessment and Monitoring Programs [Chapter 4]
XML: View XML