BLM Core Terrestrial Indicators and Methods
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy was initiated, in part, to evaluate current monitoring activities and recommend procedures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these activities. To this end, the AIM Strategy supports an integrated approach to: (1) document the distribution and abundance of natural resources on public lands; (2) facilitate the description of resource conditions; and (3) identify natural resource trends or changes. These objectives will be accomplished through the integration of fundamental processes including the: (1) development and application of a consistent set of ecosystem indicators and methods for measuring them (i.e., quantitative core indicators and consistent methods for monitoring); (2) development and implementation of a statistically valid sampling framework; (3) application and integration of remote sensing technologies; and (4) implementation of related data acquisition and management plans (Toevs et al. 2011).
The purpose of this technical note is to introduce and describe the core indicators and methods component of the AIM Strategy. Further, this technical note provides guidance on how to maintain consistency of effort and resources (i.e., cited materials) when needing further details on established protocols. This core indicators and methods component identifies a small set of core indicators (i.e., measurements) that, when collected, can be used for many purposes across ecosystem types including rangeland, forest, and riparian areas. This set of core indicators, based on quantitative land cover and vegetation data using standardized measurements, will allow data to be integrated across field, district, and state office boundaries.