Rapidly quantifying drought impacts on aid reseeding strategies
This work represents an effort by the NRCS and USFS to rapidly quantify the impact of drought on vegetation production across large areas to inform a reseeding strategy for affected areas. As a result of this collaboration 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) in three counties were identified as exhibiting 50% losses in production or greater. During future drought declarations, this technology may be deployed to rapidly determine the impacts of the drought and identify the hardest hit areas. Additionally, RPMS can be applied to identify areas developing drought conditions and recovering from drought. Information produced by this process can be an important component to management strategies, adding to manager expertise and drought plans. When used in conjunction with other sources of information, such as drought monitors, this process provides a rapid, cost-effective, transparent solution to a long-standing problem and demonstrates a unique way that multiple agencies can team together to help producers and land managers in the western United States. This type of analysis is inherently multijurisdictional and embraces the “Shared Stewardship”28 vision and leverages multiagency resources from the NRCS and USFS to combat the effects of drought.