The study area for this monitoring effort is all BLM lands and perennial streams and rivers within the Field Office boundary (Figure 1). Additional information is needed within terrestrial sage grouse habitats so monitoring will be intensified there, if minimal sample sizes not achieved (Figure 1). Reporting units for this monitoring effort include: the RMP area and sage grouse habitat areas (PHMA and GHMA).
The geospatial data layers used to define the study area and reporting units were derived from the BLM’s AIM Master Sample for terrestrial and aquatic systems and included:
- BLM field office boundaries
- BLM land ownership
- PHMA and GHMA
- National Hydrography Dataset (NHD): medium resolution version 2.0
Monitoring objectives were identified by adding quantitative benchmarks to the terrestrial and aquatic indicators that are related to each management objective (e.g., Table 1). These benchmarks communicate which values of the indicators across what percentage of the landscape show that conditions are acceptable (meeting objectives) vs. unacceptable (not meeting objectives). For example, the first monitoring objective in Table 1 shows that soil aggregate stability should be greater than 4 across 70% of the landscape in order for the management objective to be achieved. Unacceptable conditions could trigger a change in management. Benchmark values were gleaned from policy, scientific literature, and professional judgment.