For land managers, monitoring is a structured approach to tracking and recording biological resources. Within the LSRRP, this means tracking changes in plant communities over time to determine the response to management actions. In short, are we seeing a reduction of those species we wish to control over time? Are we seeing an increase in desirable native plant species? The answer for those of us who spend our day to day on the project site is yes, but how do we measure these factors?
Monitoring is one of the steps in the adaptive management process. Adaptive management is a systematic approach to improving resource management by learning from management outcomes. While monitoring is a crucial step in this process, it is often overlooked by land managers because it requires substantial amounts of time and therefore money and personnel.
The Ecoculture team at Northern Arizona University has turned to technology to help mitigate these factors by implementing the following strategies: