A Rangeland Assessment Method:
Comparing Two Grazing Management Systems

Open Range Consulting (ORC)
Gregg Simonds & Eric ...
Food and Fiber
Water Security
Carbon Cycle

University of Idaho, Karen Launchbaugh and Eva Strand, with input from the SRM...
Grazing is Ubiquitous

Cost Effective and Statistically Valid Monitoring
Historical Rangeland Assessment
Spatially Limited
Historical Rangeland Assessment
Spatially Limited

Historical Landscape Assessment
Historical Rangeland Assessment
Temporally Limited

1966

1965

1964

Lee Sharp, 1990
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment

Historical Landscape Assessment
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment

Historical Landscape Assessment
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment

Historical Landscape Assessment
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment

Historical Landscape Assessment
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment

Historical Landscape Assessment
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment
Homer

Resource
Specialist

Rancher

Cowboy
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment
• Upland Assessment
• Riparian Assessment
• Three Creeks vs. DLL Comparison
ORC’s Rangeland Assessment
Focus on Functional Cover Types

•
•
•
•

Bare Ground
Herbaceous
Litter
Shrubs
Upland Assessment
•
•
•
•

Bare Ground
Herbaceous
Litter
Shrubs

High Resolution Photos

On-The-Ground

6x7 m 2mm
18 Milli...
Upland Assessment
High Resolution Photos

On-The-Ground

6x7 m 2mm
18 Million Pixels

•
•
•
•

Bare Ground
Herbaceous
Litt...
Bareground

99%

Herbaceous

92%

Litter

95%

Shrub

90%
1m Accuracy
Bareground
Herbaceous
Litter
Shrub

R2
0.92
0.89
0.85
0.91
Crop Year Precipitation & Treatments
5%

16

4%

14

4%

12

3%

10

3%

8

2%

6

2%

4

1%

2

1%

% Treated

Crop Year ...
2010

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

Average Percent Cover

Sagebrush Cover Continuous ...
2010

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

Average Percent Cover

Bare Ground Continuous Cove...
2010

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

Average Percent Cover
35

Herbaceous Continuous Co...
Shrub Cover Change 1995-2010

• Warm Colors Decreasing Shrub
• Cool Colors Increasing Shrub
Riparian Assessment
Focus on Important Functional Ground Cover

•
•
•
•

Upland Veg.
Bare Ground
Riparian Veg.
Water
Assess Within the
Potential Riparian Area (PRA)
Riparian Assessment
Riparian Assessment
Increasing Riparian Vegetation Within the PRA

Correlated to Positive Changes in the
Following Riparian Indicators
Water
T...
Three Creeks vs. DLL Comparison
Physically Similar
Elevation
Climate Woodruff Weather Station
• Temperature
• Precipitation

Different Management
DLL
• Mo...
Standards and Guidelines
1. Sufficient cover and litter to protect the soil surface from
excessive water and wind erosion,...
Overall Comparison
50
40
30
20
10
0
Perennial Grass

Tall Sagebrush

DLL

Short Sagebrush

Three Creeks

Average Continuou...
Semi-Desert Loam Comparison

Analysis Area

NRCS ESD: Bare Ground Ranges from 25% - 35%
28%

15%

20%

25%

30%

36%

35%
...
Standards and Guidelines
2. Riparian and wetland areas are in properly functioning
condition….
Riparian PFC Comparison
Percent of Streams in PFC Rating
80%
60%
40%
20%

0%
NF

FAR

DLL

PFC

Three Creeks
Allotment Comparison
% Riparian Vegetation within the PRA
60%

50%
40%
30%

1976
2006
2009

20%
10%
0%

Allotments
Long Term Trend of Riparian Vegetation Within the PRA
Percent Riparian Vegetation withing the PRA
(By Grazing Management)
...
Standards and Guidelines
3: Desired species, including native, threatened,
endangered and special status species, are main...
Questions & Comments
A Rangeland Assessment Method: Comparing Two Grazing Management Systems by Gregg Simonds and Eric Sant, Open Range Consulting
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A Rangeland Assessment Method: Comparing Two Grazing Management Systems by Gregg Simonds and Eric Sant, Open Range Consulting

  1. 1. A Rangeland Assessment Method: Comparing Two Grazing Management Systems Open Range Consulting (ORC) Gregg Simonds & Eric Sant October, 2013
  2. 2. Food and Fiber Water Security Carbon Cycle University of Idaho, Karen Launchbaugh and Eva Strand, with input from the SRM I&E committee.
  3. 3. Grazing is Ubiquitous Cost Effective and Statistically Valid Monitoring
  4. 4. Historical Rangeland Assessment Spatially Limited
  5. 5. Historical Rangeland Assessment Spatially Limited Historical Landscape Assessment
  6. 6. Historical Rangeland Assessment Temporally Limited 1966 1965 1964 Lee Sharp, 1990
  7. 7. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Historical Landscape Assessment
  8. 8. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Historical Landscape Assessment
  9. 9. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Historical Landscape Assessment
  10. 10. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Historical Landscape Assessment
  11. 11. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Historical Landscape Assessment
  12. 12. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Homer Resource Specialist Rancher Cowboy
  13. 13. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment • Upland Assessment • Riparian Assessment • Three Creeks vs. DLL Comparison
  14. 14. ORC’s Rangeland Assessment Focus on Functional Cover Types • • • • Bare Ground Herbaceous Litter Shrubs
  15. 15. Upland Assessment • • • • Bare Ground Herbaceous Litter Shrubs High Resolution Photos On-The-Ground 6x7 m 2mm 18 Million Pixels
  16. 16. Upland Assessment High Resolution Photos On-The-Ground 6x7 m 2mm 18 Million Pixels • • • • Bare Ground Herbaceous Litter Shrubs
  17. 17. Bareground 99% Herbaceous 92% Litter 95% Shrub 90%
  18. 18. 1m Accuracy Bareground Herbaceous Litter Shrub R2 0.92 0.89 0.85 0.91
  19. 19. Crop Year Precipitation & Treatments 5% 16 4% 14 4% 12 3% 10 3% 8 2% 6 2% 4 1% 2 1% % Treated Crop Year Precip 2010 2010 2009 2009 2008 2008 2007 2007 2006 2006 2005 2005 2004 2004 2003 2003 2002 2002 2001 2001 2000 2000 1999 1999 1998 1998 1997 1997 1996 1996 1995 1995 1994 1994 0 0% PERCENT TREATED 5% 18 INCHES 20
  20. 20. 2010 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 Average Percent Cover Sagebrush Cover Continuous (1995 -2010) 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
  21. 21. 2010 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 Average Percent Cover Bare Ground Continuous Cover (1995-2010) 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25
  22. 22. 2010 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 Average Percent Cover 35 Herbaceous Continuous Cover (1993-2010) 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25
  23. 23. Shrub Cover Change 1995-2010 • Warm Colors Decreasing Shrub • Cool Colors Increasing Shrub
  24. 24. Riparian Assessment Focus on Important Functional Ground Cover • • • • Upland Veg. Bare Ground Riparian Veg. Water
  25. 25. Assess Within the Potential Riparian Area (PRA)
  26. 26. Riparian Assessment
  27. 27. Riparian Assessment
  28. 28. Increasing Riparian Vegetation Within the PRA Correlated to Positive Changes in the Following Riparian Indicators Water Table PFC Fish Populations Sediment Water Temperature
  29. 29. Three Creeks vs. DLL Comparison
  30. 30. Physically Similar Elevation Climate Woodruff Weather Station • Temperature • Precipitation Different Management DLL • Mostly Private • Adaptive, Time Controlled (1976) • 4.4 Acres/AUM Three Creeks • Mostly Public • Season Long Grazing • 6.75 Acres/AUM
  31. 31. Standards and Guidelines 1. Sufficient cover and litter to protect the soil surface from excessive water and wind erosion, promote infiltration, detain surface flow, and retard soil moisture loss by evaporation USFS Objectives for Range Management 1. Manage range vegetation to protect basic soil and water resources
  32. 32. Overall Comparison 50 40 30 20 10 0 Perennial Grass Tall Sagebrush DLL Short Sagebrush Three Creeks Average Continuous Cover 70 Average % Cover Percent Cover Bare Ground by Dominant Landcover 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Bareground Sagebrush Herbaceous/Litter
  33. 33. Semi-Desert Loam Comparison Analysis Area NRCS ESD: Bare Ground Ranges from 25% - 35% 28% 15% 20% 25% 30% 36% 35% DLL 3 Crks 40% Average Cover (Semi-Desert Loam) 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Bareground Shrub Herb/litter Semi Desert Loam Analysis Areas DLL Three Creeks Deseret Three Creeks 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 Miles ´
  34. 34. Standards and Guidelines 2. Riparian and wetland areas are in properly functioning condition….
  35. 35. Riparian PFC Comparison Percent of Streams in PFC Rating 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% NF FAR DLL PFC Three Creeks
  36. 36. Allotment Comparison % Riparian Vegetation within the PRA 60% 50% 40% 30% 1976 2006 2009 20% 10% 0% Allotments
  37. 37. Long Term Trend of Riparian Vegetation Within the PRA Percent Riparian Vegetation withing the PRA (By Grazing Management) 30% 25% Exclosure 20% Season Long 15% Time Control 10% 5% 2010 2008 2006 2004 2002 1999 1997 1995 1991 1989 1986 1980 1978 0% 1974 Percent Riparian within the PRA 35%
  38. 38. Standards and Guidelines 3: Desired species, including native, threatened, endangered and special status species, are maintained at a level appropriate for the site and species involved.
  39. 39. Questions & Comments

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