Reporting Land Health Geospatially

The Land Health Reporting Data Standard is intended to provide consistent data in reporting the current status of land health on BLM-administered surface lands and standardizes mapping and reporting land health achievements and non-achievements, providing an improved way of reporting land condition, and trend in that condition over time. Reporting land health achievements and non-achievements will replace seral status of plant communities, which is the BLM’s current way of reporting condition and trend-in-condition over time. Seral status of plant communities, by itself, is no longer comprehensive enough to reflect land condition and is no longer supported by science for that purpose. Implementing this data standard will satisfy the BLM’s condition reporting mandate in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978.

This data standard will increase accuracy of land health reporting. Currently, acreages of entire allotments are the basis for reporting land health achievements and non-achievements. Spatial polygons and linear features, in acres and miles respectively, will be reported under this data standard, allowing for more accurate portrayal of land health achievements and non-achievements.

This data standard will create a spatial component to land health reporting. Neither the seral status reporting nor current reporting has a spatial component. The BLM cannot show where—on the ground—the reported conditions are. The ability to map land health achievements and non-achievements will increase the BLM’s accountability, improve Congress’ and the public understanding of land conditions, as well as improve the BLM’s land use planning by providing current resource condition information.

This new reporting process will standardize electronic storage of land health achievement and non-achievement data, allowing the discontinuation of land health data calls to the field. Land health achievement and non-achievement data will be stored in geodatabases that can be queried for reporting, thereby discontinuing the need for data calls.

The new standardized method of reporting and mapping land health achievements and non-achievements has been pilot-tested in 13 Field /District Offices including Kremmling, Colorado; Carlsbad, New Mexico; Safford, Sonoran Desert National Monument, and Arizona Strip, Arizona; Cedar City and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah; Challis, Idaho; Cody, Newcastle, and Lander, Wyoming; and Burns and Prineville, Oregon.

Reporting Land Health Geospatially