NATIONAL RANGE INVENTORY (NRI)
An extended agreement with NRCS increasing the program funding, finds the district on its fifth year providing assistance in the USDA National Rangeland Inventory (NRI) program. This program is federally mandated throughout the nation. The district provides assistance in the form of surveying and documenting designated points in southern California. Each point is an onsite data collection for grazing and range inventory. Each point is surveyed via 150 foot transects to collect environmental data including but not limited to plant life, land cover/use, landscape and soils, disturbance indicators and biomass/production, cover, density, and height. Points are revisited every 5 years.
The National Rangeland Inventory (NRI) 2022 season was like the 2021 season, still with fewer segments available than in previous years. There continues to be a dropping rate in the permissions granted by private owners to access their properties. The powers-that-be have assured us that leadership is aware of this trend and the initial number of segments picked will be “significantly” increased going forward. NRI work includes segments on private rangeland and public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM segments were bid to private contractors for completion in all but Mono, Kern, Los Angeles, Ventura,
and San Diego counties. For the 2022 season only Mono and Kern counties had any BLM segments which this Project had responsibility for. For 2022, there were 6 BLM segments and 4 private segments. The BLM segments constituted 18 possible points. All segments but one were completed during this time period. All segment surveys required travel with some being multiple overnight stays. In rugged terrain, hiking is required for up to 2 miles from the point with an additional mile for travel between points within each segment. Not every segment can be ultimately reached but the attempt must be made. The private segments were in Mono, Los
Angeles, and San Diego counties. All but 1 of these private segments required travel with overnight stays in hotels. The work this year was done by one experienced and one first time employee of the Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District. The experienced employee moved up to team leader for this year and is to be commended as he was responsible for the entire project with some assistance from NRCS in the form of a field data collection partner. He also used his time in the field to provide OJT for an NRCS employee interested in the NRI program. The NRI 2022 field work season was completed within the required timeframe. The current NRI agreement will be ending in September of 2022, however another agreement is in place to fund the next few years of NRI surveys.