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BLM>More BLM Programs>Landscape Approach>Rapid Ecoregional Assessments>Southern Great Plains
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Point of Rocks landmark on the Santa Fe Trail
Photo by Mike Blair
Point of Rocks, a landmark on the Santa Fe Trail (Cimarron National Grassland, Kansas )

Southern Great Plains
Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA)

Status | Location and Setting | Management Questions | Conservation Elements | Change Agents | Data, Maps, and Models | Memos and Reports

REA Status 
The Southern Great Plains REA was initiated in October 2012 and is scheduled for completion in late 2014.  REA Task 1 (the refinement of management questions, conservation elements, and change agents) will be completed by late 2013.  See the Memos and Reports section for a list of scheduled tasks and to download the completed documents.    

Location and Setting 
The Southern Great Plains REA encompasses three ecoregions located in the South Central U.S.: the Central Great Plains, the High Plains, and the Southwestern Tablelands.  Combined, these ecoregions total nearly 180 million acres managed mostly in private ownership.

States in the Southern Plains:
New Mexico

Contact: Project Manager
for more information

  Location Map

Southern Great Plains REA Map

Unlike adjacent ecological regions, little of the Southwestern Tablelands is in cropland. Much of this elevated tableland is in sub-humid grassland and semiarid grazing land. 

Higher and drier than the Central Great Plains to the east, much of the Western High Plains comprises smooth to slightly irregular plains having a high percentage of cropland. 

The Central Great Plains are slightly lower, receive more precipitation, and are somewhat more irregular than the Western High Plains to the west. Once a grassland, with scattered low trees and shrubs in the south, much of this ecological region is now cropland.

These three ecoregions include an assemblage of over 2,000 native species of plants and animals.  In addition, the area overlays the world’s largest aquifer—the High Plains (Ogallala) Aquifer.  This important water source is critical to the health and survival of both human populations and wildlife in the heartland of America.

The area covers parts of five states: the northernmost Panhandle of Texas, western Oklahoma, eastern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, and westernmost Kansas.  The economy is based on cattle, irrigated and dry farming, and some natural-gas and petroleum extraction.

Ecoregions within the Southern Great Plains REA

Ecoregion Map
Click on image for larger map

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Data, Maps, and Models
Geospatial data, maps, and models used in and produced by the REAs will be made available to the public upon final completion of each individual assessment. 

Memos and Reports
For each REA, there is a series of memos which are supplemental documents to the final report.  Memos document the major tasks and decision points made during the assessments and provide pertinent background information necessary to understand the justification and methods used during the assessment.  As memos and the final report are completed, they can be downloaded through the table below.

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Southern Great Plains (SGP) REA Memos and Report


Document Link

Management questions, conservation elements, and change agents 
Analytical models and tools 
REA work plan  
Preliminary findings for review  
REA report, maps, and supporting documents 
Map of SGP Ecoregions within the REAMap of SPG Ecoregions