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Consistent indicators and methods and a scalable sample design to meet assessment, inventory, and monitoring information needs across scales

Toevs, Gordon R., Karl, Jason W., Taylor, Jason J., Spurrier, Carol S., Karl, Michael "Sherm", Bobo, Matthew R., Herrick, Jeffrey E.
Rangelands 2011 v.33 no.4 pp. 14
data collection, ecosystems, information dissemination, inventories, land management, monitoring, remote sensing, soil, vegetation
Within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as in many land management agencies throughout the world, much effort is invested in monitoring and assessment for specific management needs. The BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy was initiated, in part, to evaluate and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of monitoring activities. A goal of the AIM Strategy is to provide the BLM and its partners with information needed to understand terrestrial resource location and abundance, condition, and trend, and to provide a basis for effective adaptive management. The Strategy supports an integrated approach that includes three components: 1) a standard set of field measurement indicators and associated methods for terrestrial vegetation and soils that reflect the status of key attributes of ecosystem sustainability ; 2) a statistically valid sampling framework that allows datasets collected in different areas and for different objectives to be aggregated at different scales to address regional and national information needs; and 3) integration of remote sensing and ground-based technologies to maximize BLM’s capacity to cost-effectively address management questions at multiple spatial scales. Collectively, these components help ensure that data collected to support local decision-making are defensible and can be easily integrated to address multiple questions at multiple scales. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the three components.