An interdisciplinary team of DJ&A scientists conducted Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) surveys along designated monitoring areas (DMAs) across the North Central Montana District in Montana.
The MIM protocol applied to these sites and outlined in Technical Reference 1737-23 was developed to provide a standardized riparian assessment that assesses both short and long-term indicators and is objective, efficient, and effective for monitoring the ecological health of streams and rivers that may be impacted by livestock grazing in or around the riparian area.
The DMAs surveyed by DJ&A will continue to be monitored, providing important information for land managers who require an understanding the ecological trends and health of riparian systems under their management.
- Established designated monitoring areas and collected data according to established MIM protocol;
- Utilized GPS, mapping applications, and GIS to accurately locate and access remote points across rural Montana;
- Utilized electronic data entry methods to efficiently and consistently collect data while in the field;
- Identified and assessed age class information for various riparian and upland vegetation found within DMAs;
- Performed QA/QC on data collection and entry throughout the length of the survey period;
- Provided ongoing status updates to the BLM throughout the duration of the project; and
- Collaborated with local landowners in order to access BLM lands with the proper notice and permissions.
The DJ&A team was composed of scientists who provided excellent vegetation identification skills that were invaluable to the survey’s success, particularly in areas that had not been surveyed prior to the establishment of the DMA and did not have baseline vegetation information. Additionally, two members of the DJ&A team attended an intensive training course provided by the National Riparian Service Team that provided additional expertise for conducting MIM surveys.