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Mobile App To Give Ranchers Input On Rangeland Monitoring

Julia Ritchey

  A new mobile app launching this spring will allow ranchers and farmers to submit data on vast tracts of Nevada rangeland that currently go unmonitored. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Since the Oregon standoff began, national attention has turned once again to the tension surrounding federal land management in the West, where a vast majority of land is owned by the government.

A new app from the Nevada Department of Agriculture seeks to diffuse that tension, at least a little, by giving ranchers a tool to help describe and log conditions of Nevada's wide open spaces. Jamie Abbott is with the department.

"There isn't rangeland monitoring occurring all across Nevada. And a lot of those gaps happened to be on private land or say on some of the huge allotments where there's one range person that can get out there once a year."

She says the app will let ranchers take before and after pictures of a certain landscapes and catalog the impacts of grazing along with erosion.

"So you're out there with a smartphone device. You can take pictures to show this is what it looked like in the spring in 2015, and then in 2020 this is what it looks like."

The concept came about during the sage grouse talks between state and federal officials as they worked on land use maps for sensitive wildlife areas.

Abbott says the Rangeland App will provide more up-to-date data and be centrally available to ranchers and other stakeholders.

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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