Improved Management of Public Land Grazing Allotments: An Info Resource
Investigators (most current known information)
Managing public lands today, particularly with respect to grazing allotments, requires the systematic collection of natural resource data, as well as knowledge of federal environmental regulations such as those defined in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These requirements have significantly impacted the workload of resource managers in the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and other government agencies as well as grazing permittees who must provide in-depth documentation of land resources and their use. Contributing to this situation is the fact that most grazing allotments have changed boundaries, management practices, and permittees many times. Information on these consolidations and management factors have been collected over the years but are often poorly organized and lack an effective information system to facilitate access. This has led to lost records, duplication of effort, and wasted time and financial resources.
To alleviate this situation, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Arizona and the USFS conducted a demonstration project to: (a) provide electronic access to a representative set of public lands information via the World Wide Web, (b) create a model vegetation monitoring database, user interface, and database template for bringing this information to the public as well as to USFS and other government land managers for learning, analysis, interpretation, and planning purposes, and (c) facilitate public knowledge and understanding of public land management issues in terms of environmental regulations. It did this using a representative set of monitoring data collected over the years on the Walker Basin allotment located on the Coconino National Forest near Arizona's Verde Valley. Organizing this information into a searchable database available via the Web provided an educational and planning demonstration of the process used to develop allotment management plans. It also provided a model and template for others to build their own data sets, thus, maximizing past financial inputs, offering new planning opportunities, and facilitating compliance with federal laws and regulations. Expected clientele for the Web site include a broad constituency ranging from public and private land managers, Extension specialists, environmental and other interested groups, to students and faculty in colleges and universities.
Hutchinson, B. and J. Pfander. AgNIC and the Walker Basin Allotment. V Bar V Field Day, College of Agriculture, University of Arizona, August 28, 1999.
Hutchinson, B. “Introducing the Walker Basin Allotment Web Site.” Presented to the V-V Advisory Board Meeting, V-V Ranch, February 11, 2000.