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Indicators for Soil and Water Conservation on Rangelands Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable.

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Presentation on theme: "Indicators for Soil and Water Conservation on Rangelands Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable."— Presentation transcript:

1 Indicators for Soil and Water Conservation on Rangelands Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable

2 W.C. Lowdermilk Conquest of the land through 7,000 years. Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil erosion is regarded as a major contributor to declines in human civilizations over the past 7,000 years.

3 Working Members of Soil and Water Group (Feb. 2002) Steven BorchardBureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. Bill HaglanU.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Arlington, VA Mike Sherm KarlBureau of Land Management, Washington, D.C. David PykeU.S. Geological Survey, Corvallis, Oregon Jerry SchumanU.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service, Cheyenne, WY John StednickColorado State University, Fort Collins Paul TuellerUniversity of Nevada, Reno

4 14 Indicators of Soil and Water Resources 7 soil-based 6 water-based 1 soil & water-based Retained 7 soil & water resources indicators from Roundtable on Sustainable Forests

5 7 Soil-Based Indicators Significant Current Soil Erosion Significantly Diminished Soil Organic Matter Significant Soil Compaction Area and Percent of Rangeland Experiencing Changes in Toxic Substances Area and Extent of Rangelands with Changes in Soil Aggregate Stability Significant Variance in Diversity of Soil Organisms Change in Extent of Bare Ground

6 6 Water-Based Indicators Percent of Water Bodies with Significant Variation of Biological Diversity from the Natural Range of Variability Percent of Water Bodies with Significant Variation from Historic Range of Variability in pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Levels of Chemicals (Electrical Conductivity), Sedimentation or Temperature Change Quantifying Aquifer Change Area and Extent of Rangelands Occupied by Wetlands Percent Stream Miles in Rangeland Catchments in which Stream Channel Geometry Significantly Deviates from Natural Channel Geometry Change in Number and Duration of Dry Periods in Rangeland Intermittent Streams

7 Soil and Water-Based Indicator Area and Percent of Rangeland Managed Primarily for Protective Functions

8 Challenges and Opportunities (So Far) Applicability of Indicators over Broad Geographic Areas Some indicators, like soil compaction, appear only over very small portions of rangelands; therefore arent widespread problem.

9 Conclusions and Future Work 1. Creation of Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable; potential overlap could result in reduction of number of water-based indicators 2. Some overlap in indicator identification between Soil & Water Group, & Ecological Health & Diversity Group (e.g. diversity of soil organisms indicator) 3. Integration between Roundtables and within groups within Rangelands Roundtable will minimize overlap

10 Conclusions and Future Work 4. More than one indicator appears to be indexing same rangeland component E.g. soil erosion, soil aggregate stability, organic matter content, & soil compaction, are 4 indicators that all relate to soil erosion Are fewer adequate?


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