Monitoring

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Monitoring protocols: Options, approaches, implementation, benefits

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This chapter reviews some of the conceptual and technological advancements and provide examples of how they have influenced rangeland monitoring. It then discuss implications of these developments for rangeland management and highlight what are seen as challenges and opportunities for implementing effective rangeland monitoring. It concludes with a vision for how monitoring can contribute to rangeland information needs in the future.

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Smoke management photographic guide: A visual aid for communicating impacts

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The primary purpose of this guide is to serve as a tool for communicating potential particulate matter (PM2.5) levels during wildfire events using visual representation. Examples of visibility impairment under various levels of smoke concentration and humidity have been modeled using the WinHaze program.

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US Geological Survey Science Data Catalog

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The USGS Science Data Catalog provides seamless access to USGS research and monitoring data from across the nation. Users have the ability to search, browse, or use a map-based interface to discover data.

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A field guide for selecting the most appropriate treatment in sagebrush and piñon-juniper ecosystems in the Great Basin: Evaluating resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses, and predicting vegetation response

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This field guide identifies seven primary components that largely determine resilience to disturbance, as well as resistance to invasive grasses and plant succession following treatment of areas of concern. An evaluation score sheet is included for rating resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses and the probability of seeding success.

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Monitoring restoration impacts to endemic plant communities in soil inclusions of arid environments

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In a study of arid areas of western North America, soil inclusions called slickspots, which are saltier than adjacent soil and support different types of native vegetation, USGS scientists monitored slickspot size and cover of endangered slickspot peppergrass for two years to see if they were affected by the application of glyphosate or by a minimum-till drill in the Snake River Plain, ID. The researchers concluded that slickspot sizes were not affected by these treatments.

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Greater Sage-Grouse National Research Strategy

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This Research Strategy provides an outline of important research topics to ensure that science information gaps are identified and documented in a comprehensive manner. Further, by identifying priority topics and critical information needed for planning, research, and resource management, it provides a structure to help coordinate members of an expansive research and management community in their efforts to conduct priority research.

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A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States

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This guide describes the benefits, opportunities, and trade-offs concerning fuel treatments in the dry mixed conifer forests of northern California and the Klamath Mountains, Pacific Northwest Interior, northern and central Rocky Mountains, and Utah. It provides (1) exhaustive summaries and links to supporting guides and literature on the mechanics of fuel treatments, including mechanical manipulation, prescribed fire, targeted grazing and chemical use; (2) a decision tree to help managers select the best mechanical method for any situation in these regions; (3) discussion on how to apply prescribed fire to achieve diverse and specific objectives; (4) key principles for developing an effective monitoring plan; (5) economic analysis of mechanical fuel treatments in each region; and (6) discussion on fuel treatment longevity.

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SageSTEP – Sagebrush steppe treatment evaluation project

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SageSTEP is a long-term multidisciplinary experiment evaluating methods of sagebrush steppe restoration in the Great Basin.

You can find and access information on this project’s:

  • Land management treatments
  • Treatment effects on vegetation and fuels; soils and biogeochemistry; water runoff and erosion; wildlife and insects
  • The economics and human perspectives of management treatments
  • Association with climate change
  • Research findings thus far and project future
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Smoke models and their emissions-related uncertanties

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Three models were evaluated in this study: CALPUFF, DAYSMOKE and CMAQ during different prescribed burn and wildfire episodes occurring throughout the southeastern US.  Results suggested that CALPUFF could not be determined to be a suitable model for simulating the air quality impacts of fires. Model evaluation indicated that DAYSMOKE can be turned into a reliable a short‐range smoke‐impact prediction tool for land managers. On a regional scale, PM2.5 impacts of prescribed burns and wildfires are best predicted by air quality models such as CMAQ.

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