A suite of tools for monitoring and assessing impacts of road networks and off-road vehicle activity on rangelands

TitleA suite of tools for monitoring and assessing impacts of road networks and off-road vehicle activity on rangelands
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDuniway M, Herrick JE, Karl J, Van Zee J
Conference Name63rd Society for Range Management Annual Meetings
Date Published02/2010
PublisherSociiety for Range Management
Conference LocationDenver, CO
ARIS Log Number257887
Abstract

Despite increasing amounts of transportation related activities on rangelands globally, few tools exist for assessing and monitoring impacts of roads, road networks and off-road vehicle traffic. This is in part due to an historical emphasis on grazing issues in rangelands and the complexity of monitoring and assessing impacts of roads and vehicles on rangeland health and productivity. We present strategies for applying new and existing tools to monitoring and assessment of road and off-road vehicle impacts at multiple spatial scales. Tools described include an adaptation of Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health, a checklist for describing hydrologic impacts, LIDAR analyses, laser rangefinders, and various types of penetrometers. We demonstrate how a currently available online application can help select appropriate assessment and monitoring methods and design cost-effective sampling systems. The suite of tools presented can potentially greatly increase our ability to detect road and vehicle associated impacts at multiple spatial scales, filling an important knowledge gap necessary for adaptive management of road and vehicle impacted rangelands. Abstract # PC-24.