Bureau of Land Management Rangeland Resource Assessment : 2011
The 2011 rangeland resource assessment (RRA) is a first-of-its-kind report on the status and condition of renewable resources on federal rangelands managed by the BLM. The BLM based the RRA on a statistical survey of 879 locations across BLM rangelands in 13 western states.Future RRAs will report the trend (change across time) in status and condition of renewable resources on BLM rangelands.
Several aspects of this assessment make it unique. The 2011 RRA uses a standardized set of attributes and indicators to portray the status and condition of renewable resources on BLM-managed public rangelands. The BLM used standardized field methods and a statistically valid study design to measure attributes and indicators of rangeland status and condition consistently across all rangelands sampled. This consistency allowed the computation of statistically valid estimates of rangeland status and condition and the interpretation of those results across BLM rangelands.
The 2011 BLM RRA is a product of a partnership among the BLM, the United States Department of Agriculture–Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology (CSSM) at Iowa State University. The 2011 BLM RRA augments the National Resources Inventory (NRI) RRA, conducted by the NRCS, which estimates the status and condition of rangeland resources and describes trends on nonfederal rangelands. The NRCS conducts the NRI RRA in cooperation with the CSSM, which generates the statistics and survey design methods used in the NRI. The NRCS has conducted on-the-ground NRI sampling on nonfederal rangelands since 2003.
The BLM, NRCS, and CSSM developed this partnership to use funds and the existing workforce efficiently to provide a unified estimate of rangeland status and condition on nonfederal rangelands and BLM-managed public rangelands. The 2011 BLM RRA and the 2011 NRI used the same sampling design and the same trained data collectors. Field methods used in the 2011 BLM RRA were used also in the 2011 NRI. The CSSM provided statistical support for the selection of samples, support for the survey design, and statistical processing and estimates of the attributes and indicators for the 2011 BLM RRA (Nusser et al. 2013).