Land health and ecological sites: application to land use planning and management

TitleLand health and ecological sites: application to land use planning and management
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHerrick JE, Bestelmeyer BT, Brown J., Karl JW
Conference NameFirst International Rangeland Congress Chiapas.
Date Published10/2010
PublisherFirst International Rangeland Congress Chiapas.
Conference LocationChipas, Mexico
Accession NumberJRN00539
ARIS Log Number262580

Land health is a powerful tool for land use planning and management of croplands, forests, and rangelands. It is difficult, expensive and often impossible to assess and monitor the status of land relative to its potential to support each of these ecosystem services. However, there are three attributes of the land that reflect its capacity to support all of these services. These attributes include: Soil and Site Stability, Hydrologic Function, and Biotic Integrity. Applying the land health concept to land use planning begins with defining the land's potential using a land classification system (Step 1), assessing the land (Step 2), developing the plan (Step 3), developing early warning systems (Step 4), and adapting land use, often at different temporal scales (Step 5). Land use planning and management based on land health and ecological sites can improve the usefulness of land use planning. This approach requires farmers and technical specialists to work together to determine the land's potential and its current status relative to potential.