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Rangeland Production Monitoring Service: In season forage and fuel projections

Abstract

Rangeland vegetation growth is highly variable often exceeding 40 percent on an interannual basis. Monitoring these changes and adjusting management actions, such as annual operating instructions or fire preparedness activities, is a costly and time-consuming endeavor especially since there are roughly 662 million acres of rangelands in the Coterminous US. Given the increasing need for geospatial intelligence, decreasing resources for monitoring and greater expectations by stakeholders, we developed the Rangeland Production Monitoring Service (RPMS) which enables retrospective monitoring (1984 to present) and in season forage and fuel projections. The forage and fuel projections are currently available for Regions 1 and 4. Part of these projections includes a separate assessment of annual herbaceous yield (e.g. cheatgrass) enabling managers to “see into the future”. These data are produced automatically on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and are ready for managers right now.  

Purpose

To give managers information about the timing and magnitude of rangeland yield in the growing season.  This should improve decisions earlier in the season than ever possible before.   

Overview and Applicability

Range at sunset
Range at sunset
These data are directly applicable to:

  1. Fire behavior assessment and strategic planning
  2. Improving rangeland allotment management plans
  3. NEPA Assessment
  4. Plan Revision

Inputs

  1. Weekly Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI)
  2. Daily precipitation
  3. Daily Evaporative Demand Drought Index

Outputs

  1. Annual production estimate of rangelands

(Including 95th percentile prediction Interval)

  1. Timing of the peak of green

(Including 95th percentile prediction Interval) 

Requirements

ArcGIS or other software unless you just want to view a static image. Soon this will all be offered as an image service. One can google “Rangeland Production” in ArcGIS online and view some of the data there. 

Restrictions and Limitations

There are no restrictions. Data are limited to non-forested (Rangeland) landscapes. See Reeves and Mitchell (2011) for information on the spatial domain. 
Reeves, M. C., and Mitchell, J. E. 2011. Extent of coterminous US rangelands: quantifying implications of differing agency perspectives. Rangeland Ecology and Management 64, 1-12.

 

Citation

https://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/projects/development-rangeland-production-monitoring-service-could-improve-rangeland-management;  Reeves et al. 2019. An Assessment of Production Trends on the Great Plains from 1984 to 2017. Submitted to Rangeland Ecology and Management. 



Authors: 
Rob Lankston


Co-Investigators:
Rob Lankston - Lankston Consulting