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Agricultural News


New Technology for Landowners and Resource Managers Revolutionizes Rangeland Monitoring

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:25:42 CDT

New Technology for Landowners and Resource Managers Revolutionizes Rangeland Monitoring In a story from the National Resources Conservation Service, the first-ever vegetation cover maps for rangelands from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean provides a view of rangeland resources at an unprecedented blend of time, space, and scale in the form of an app.

“I’ve waited my whole career for this kind of tool,” says Shane Green, USDA NRCS range management specialist in Utah. “It provides the context for landscape planning that’s been lacking in the rangeland profession.”

America’s vast western grazing lands produce food for the nation, recreation revenues for local communities, and habitat for wildlife. Producers often manage large swaths of rangelands, making it a challenge to track how vegetation has fared over time.

To meet this challenge, the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) provides the first-ever vegetation cover maps for rangelands from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean.

Created by the University of Montana in partnership with USDA and U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), this easy-to-use technology provides trends in rangeland resources from 1984 to present at the ranch, county, and watershed scales.

The RAP revolutionizes monitoring because it provides a view of rangeland resources at an unprecedented blend of time, space, and scale. This is accomplished through field data, satellite imagery, and the cloud-based computing power of Google Earth Engine.

This new technology helps NRCS meet its goals for partnering with private landowners to conserve rangelands.

To read the full story and learn how you can get the app, click or tap here.

Photo credit: David Naugle


   

 

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