The Landscape Toolbox was originally, and continues to be, developed around real land management and monitoring projects.
The BLM’s AIM program uses the core methods and sampling design approaches described in the Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems as part of westwide monitoring efforts. As a result, BLM offices have collected data on BLM-managed land that answer their local-scale questions for work like grazing permit renewals and sage-grouse habitat assessment that can also be aggregated at larger scales to describe the landscape across multiple offices and states. AIM has been active since 2011 and has collected data at more than 17,000 locations, publicly available through the Terrestrial AIM Database (TerrADat) at the BLM’s Landscape Approach Data Portal.
You can find resources specific to AIM implementation here.
Established in 2014, the NWERN is a joint effort between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Long Term Agro-Ecosystem Research (LTAR) network, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the US Geological Survey (USGS), and the Bureau of Land Management which focuses on wind erosion in the plains and arid regions of North America. The network consists of 15 sites with permanently-installed sensor masts for collecting data on wind erosion and risk factors for erosion. The core methods from the Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems are used to collect covariate information for use in erosion modeling efforts.
The Rangelands Analysis Platform is a web tool that uses remote sensing products to visualize vegetation data over time and space. It combines remotely sensed imagery from Landsat with field data from more than 60,000 collection sites from the NRCS National Resource Inventory (NRI) and the BLM’s AIM efforts to derive information about vegetation cover and biomass. Data are available from 1984 to the present and in the United States from the Pacific Ocean to the Great Plains. The RAP is aimed at helping land managers to make more informed decisions regarding the condition of their landscapes based on current and historical conditions.
The Land Potential Knowledge System, or LandPKS, was initiated in 2013 by the USDA-ARS Range Management Research Unit Jornada Experimental Range in partnership with USAID as a global knowledge system. USAID’s initial focus on Africa led to its use as a monitoring tool for land conservancies, an extension resource for agricultural development and as a guide for local and regional land planning. LandPKS is now used by ranchers, farmers, community scientists, gardeners, scientists, and land managers in the United States and around the world. The LandPKS app has functionality for soil identification, land cover and soil health monitoring, land management and farm record keeping, and more. The LandPKS mission is to support farmers, ranchers, gardeners, land-use planners, and other natural resource managers with open-source tools that allow them to easily access knowledge and information, and to collect, share, and interpret their own soil, vegetation cover, and management data. LandPKS data, information, and knowledge can support all approaches to land management including traditional, regenerative, organic, and holistic.
The Landscape Data Commons is an inter-agency monitoring data repository and portal, led by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at the Jornada Experimental Range that connects standardized monitoring data to analysis tools to support land management and research. The Landscape Data Commons aggregates core methods data collected across agencies and monitoring programs (e.g., AIM, NRI, the National Wind Erosion Research Network, smaller research and monitoring efforts). With these aggregated data, the Landscape Data Commons supports natural resource management, modeling, and research. The Landscape Data Commons provides consistent indicator calculations and distributions of indicators by classification unit (e.g., ecological site), connects these data to wind and water erosion models (e.g., AERO and RHEM), remote sensing models (e.g., RAP), and decision support tools (e.g., the Land Treatment Exploration Tool, the Ecological Dynamics Interpretive Tool)