Public Lands Foundation

Monitoring Ecological Changes: Conduct monitoring studies with local BLM field office personnel.

A Role for PLF – To help BLM’s Monitoring Program

On June 22, 2006, the PLF and the BLM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides the framework for PLF members and all BLM retirees β€œto promote the gathering of data to be analyzed, shared with the public, and used by the BLM to make land management decisions.”

The PLF and the BLM believe that monitoring is an essential component of effective management of the public lands and resources. Monitoring allows the BLM to determine change in conditions resulting from various management actions and to ascertain the need for changes in management to achieve resource objectives. Monitoring is used to measure progress toward meeting resource objectives and achieving land health standards, and progress toward achieving goals for the Department of the Interior’s Strategic Plan.

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The BLM has been notoriously short of personnel to carry out its responsibilities. And, follow-up evaluations, such as monitoring, many times have had to be given lower priority or not accomplished. When accomplished, the BLM’s monitoring is often not continuous but sporadic depending on the funding and priority given it. The lack of personnel is often the main reason for poor accomplishments in monitoring. With PLF members volunteering their time to aid BLM accomplish its monitoring needs, a win/win situation could be realized for both retirees and the BLM.

The PLF has many members who are experienced with gathering data using methods approved by the BLM. These include methods for monitoring and inventorying wildlife habitat, vegetation community composition, weed population and distribution, and riparian functionality.

All PLF members who are able and willing to help with this important work are encouraged to contact their local BLM Office and offer their help. Please call or email Keith Miller (602-451-0318) with your interest. He is the PLF clearinghouse for this effort and can answer your questions and match your desires with a BLM request for help. Arrangements can be made to accommodate the time you have available, even if it is only a day or two. Just tell Keith the BLM Districts you would like to revisit. The BLM will provide needed training, transportation to the field, and in some cases, per diem. Here is an opportunity for you to join with your old associates and work as a team.