These days there’s an app for just about everything, even rangeland management. Yes, you read that right — the Nevada Department of Agriculture has released a new Rangeland Monitoring app for collecting, tracking and storing rangeland monitoring data.
Based on the Rancher’s Monitoring Guide, the system can be used to make long- and short-term management decisions for the land you use.
Rangeland monitoring is growing increasingly important, as government agencies and other groups take a closer look at what ranchers do in their operations and on public lands. According to NDA, monitoring provides users with information and feedback for their current management practices. And monitoring can help determine whether management objectives are realistic and achievable.
Using the new app allows access to records of environmental and resource conditions, events and management practices that may influence vegetation trends.
The department reports that when users apply procedures outlined in the app with accuracy, the information gathered is acceptable to federal and state cooperating agencies, which can help alleviate reporting hassles. The agency cautions that it is important to coordinate monitoring of public lands with the appropriate public land manager and jointly collect the information, whenever possible.
Anyone collecting information should properly reference and document the data, so it may contribute to evaluating rangelands on a larger scale.
The app now features Ecological Site Descriptions and State and Transition models. Using GPS on your smart device, the app can retrieve the ESD and STM associated with the site. This can help you have a more detailed approach to land management and site objectives.
With a single tap, the user can identify the land’s potential, what the land could look like, and what inputs are needed to make that happen. The ESD report will give details regarding expected species composition, soil factors, vegetation factors, and average production in pounds per acre.
The STM report shows the land’s potential; help identify the current state of the land; and help to decide what management practices will increase the health of the rangeland. It also will show how to maintain the current state, and what some of the risks are that may shift the site to a different state.
NDA staff is available to help ranchers implement this technology on their property or allotments. You can get the training by emailing David Voth, rangeland health coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule training. You can find the new app by searching “rangeland monitoring app” in the Apple Store or in Google Play.