Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy Update

IB 2012-080
Information Bulletin

May 4, 2012

In Reply Refer To:
1734 (WO-200), (NOC-100) P         

Information Bulletin No. 2012-080

To:                  All WO and Field Officials

From:              Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning

Subject:           Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy Update                             

This Information Bulletin transmits the completed AIM Strategy with an associated Technical Note, and introduces the National AIM Implementation Team and State-level Monitoring Points-of-Contact.

In 2005, the Office of Management and Budget directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to develop a strategy to enhance the effectiveness of its resource monitoring activities.  In response, the BLM established a Core Team, an Oversight Team, and local, regional, and national work groups to scope the issue and identify potential solutions.  A detailed field survey and review of data collection activities documented current field practices and identified a number of opportunities to increase effectiveness in data collection and data management activities.  The working groups identified critical management needs for information at multiple scales about resource occurrence, extent and condition, and initiated a number of pilot projects to identify best practices for data collection.  For example, projects were funded to determine how the BLM could leverage field collected site data in conjunction with remote imagery to improve West-wide vegetation mapping; detect broad-scale vegetation changes and surface disturbances; develop conceptual ecological models to predict the interaction of key ecological processes and stressors; and to select core indicators and consistent collection methods.  Results from these pilot projects served as the basis for the development of the attached AIM Strategy (Attachment 1).

The AIM Strategy is a high-level document developed by the BLM with input from academia, the Agricultural Research Service, and the United States Geological Survey.  An internal review confirmed the strategy addresses the BLM’s multiple-use and sustainable yield mission and an external peer review verified the AIM Strategy is built on sound science.  The rigor within the document is intentional and will ensure the generation of defensible data to inform BLM managers and the public about key ecological processes for maintaining sustainable ecosystems.  The AIM Strategy outlines a cross-program vision for data collection, analysis, use and reporting in the BLM.  Moving forward, collection of monitoring data will follow a structured framework and include: (1) use of core quantitative indicators and consistent methods (BLM Technical Note 440, Attachment 2); (2) implementation of a statistically-valid, scalable sampling framework; (3) application and integration of remote sensing technologies, e.g. vegetation/ landcover maps; (4) implementation of electronic field-data collectors and enterprise data management; and (5) capture of legacy data in a digital format. 

Benefits:  The AIM Strategy benefits all levels of the BLM by establishing a framework for collection of monitoring data that is consistent and compatible across scales, programs, and administrative boundaries. Implementation of the AIM Strategy will provide defensible, quantitative data to inform decisions and allows data to be collected once and used many times for many purposes.

Next Steps:  To integrate the AIM Strategy into day-to-day management activities , the BLM must develop an implementation plan.  The AIM Implementation Plan will establish work products, timelines, capacity needs, a communication plan, cross-program guidance, performance measures, training requirements, and guidance for budget allocations.  This plan will be vetted through the Deputy State Directors, the Field Committee and the Executive Leadership Team.

A National AIM Implementation Team (Attachment 3) has been established to support development of the implementation plan and includes representatives from field , state , centers, and the Washington Office.  Additionally, each state has provided an AIM point of contact (Attachment 4) to facilitate communication and coordination of AIM activities.

An AIM SharePoint has been established where all BLM employees can access AIM-related documents, presentations, and meeting notes.

Contact: For further information or clarification, please contact Gordon Toevs (National Monitoring Lead, WO200 at 202-912-7202), Jason Taylor (Landscape Ecologist/AIM Coordinator, NOC at 303-236-1159), or Carol Spurrier (Range Ecologist, WO220 at 202-912-7272).

Signed by:                                                                  Authenticated by:

Edwin L. Roberson                                                     Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                      Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning

4 Attachments

1 - AIM Strategy (40 pp)

2 - BLM Technical Note 440 (21 pp)

3 - National AIM Implementation Team (1 p)

4 - AIM Monitoring Contacts (1 p)


United States Department of the Interior
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