Procedure_Part 2_ Range Field Verification Survey
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The use of qualitative information (e.g., observations) to determine range and soil conditions has a long history of use in rangeland inventory and monitoring. The methodology adopted could be termed as rapid assessment of rangeland health indicators. This assessment is an attempt to look at how the ecological processes on a rangeland site are functioning. The procedure evaluates the rangeland site from different perspectives. The main outcomes produced by the survey are: 1) Provide a preliminary evaluation of soil/site stability, hydrologic function, and integrity of the biotic community (at the ecological site level). 2) Help local authority/decision makers identify areas that are potentially at risk of degradation. 3) Provide early warnings of potential problems and opportunities. 4) Gather rangeland production utilization to assist with other resource data to make conclusions as to the appropriate stocking of rangeland. 5) Determine the relative healthiness of the rangeland based on plant composition as compared to a typical year.To this end a survey was conducted in spring 2004. The survey has a suite of indicators related to both vegetation and soil. Each of the indicators is described and rated by the evaluators using an agreed scale. The range field verification survey is conducted for each type of vegetation.