Professional Development Program






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Unit 3: Systems in Action

Rangeland Monitoring is a more general term for a whole array of practices designed to help ranchers collect, analyze and interpret data about their land in order to evaluate progress toward meeting management objectives. It is based on the premise that we cannot make effective management decisions if we do not know the effect of past management actions. The key elements of rangeland monitoring include:
  • historical use records for the ranch (if available)
  • climate and weather data
  • summary of current land use practices
  • establishment of trend study sites and photo points
  • soil, water and vegetation analyses
  • photographs
Many states have developed rangeland monitoring handbooks to help landowners and managers in this process. These handbooks provide detailed ‘how to’ information on specific monitoring techniques. Here are a few examples:
California Rangeland Monitoring Series (University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Colorado Rangeland Monitoring Guide
Nevada Rangeland Monitoring Handbook (2nd Ed.)
Wyoming Rangeland Monitoring Guide
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