TCD has received three Rangeland Health Assessment Program (RHAP) grants from Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA). The ensuing projects were implemented from 2011 to 2013.
WDA’s purpose for this grant program
is to assure the development and use of credible data in the assessment of
Wyoming Rangelands by providing a structured approach that fosters and assists
in collaborative efforts to monitor rangelands involving, as applicable,
landowners, lessees, permittees, and federal and state land agencies.
WDA has several goals for the program. The short‐term goal of the program is to sustain viable levels of federal land grazing by providing credible data to assist federal land agencies in completing required permit National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and to enable agencies and permittees to defend against challenges to grazing permit renewals and management plans.
The long‐term goal of the program is to assess trends in the health of all rangelands and assure the use of credible data in making adjustments in their management where indicated. Monitoring will help maintain or improve the economic viability of the livestock grazing industry and its contribution to the Wyoming economy.
The RHAP grants, valued from $16,000 to $20,000, provided for professional contractors and equipment to monitor vegetation and soils on grazing allotments. These allotments are located on the north half of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Data collection included locating historic transects, and collecting data using the same method as was used during the previous data collection event. This allows for trend determination. Plants were identified to the species level, involving keying out many plants. Soil pits were also dug to determine chemistry, structure, texture, and layers. Data will be incorporated into Allotment Files, by the Forest Service, and utilized in future management decisions, such as permit renewal processes.
WDA's RHAP information is located here: http://wyagric.state.wy.us/divisions/nrp/rangeland-health
For more information, please contact Robb Sgroi, Land Resources Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 733-2110.