Seeing with new eyes: Remote sensing yields insight into Jornada history

TitleSeeing with new eyes: Remote sensing yields insight into Jornada history
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsRango A.
MagazineJornada Trails
Issue Number2
Date PublishedNovember 2001
ARIS Log Number130775
Keywordsaerial photos, Jornada Experimental Range, newsletter, remediation treatments, remote sensing
AbstractAerial photos of the Jornada Experimental Range from 1937, 1974 and 1986 indicate the land cover has changed greatly and there are unusual features that cannot be accounted for by grazing pattern and pasture boundaries. These features have been identified as rangeland remediation treatments. To confirm they are treatments and to monitor their change with time, additional aerial photography from air photo archiving facilities has yielded data for all or parts of the Jornada Basin for years 1935-1937, 1947-48, 1955, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1972-74, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1991, 1996 and 1998. Analysis of these data has permitted temporal viewing and assessment of the longevity of rangeland treatments. These include the parallel pattern of grubbed strips (removal of creosote and mesquite shrubs in 1936 by Civilian Conservation Corps labor) on the Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center and clear identification of water-ponding dikes. These last may be the most effective rangeland treatment; that is, these dikes may result in greater and longer-lasting modification of vegetation than many of the more intensive remediation approaches. More data, including military air photos, are currently being acquired from archives and other sources. Approximately 3000 historical aerial photos will eventually be acquired for the Jornada Basin. These data are being digitized and indexed; in the future, researchers will be able to search an interactive database for aerial photography covering their current or proposed study sites.