The Bureau of Land Management issued two Rapid Ecological Assessments (REAs) summarizing the conditions of the Central Basin and Range and the Mojave Basin and Range ecological regions.
The REAs use existing scientific information and data to identify resource conditions and trends within an ecoregion, a large geographic area that shares similar ecological characteristics. They help identify important habitats for fish, wildlife, and species of concern then gauge the potential of these habitats to be affected by four overarching environmental change agents: climate change, wildfires, invasive species, and urban and energy development. This large-scale approach is designed to help identify patterns of environmental change that may not be evident when managing smaller land areas.
“This specific focus on climate change and other related factors altering the landscape of the West will help the BLM better focus its efforts and integrate conservation, restoration, and development programs in a cohesive manner as we work with our partners to maintain the health and prosperity of the public lands,” said BLM Nevada State Director Amy Lueders.
The Central Basin and Range REA encompasses land in five states, Nevada, Utah, California and Idaho, and a small section of Oregon, covering an area of 138,945 square miles. The BLM manages 58 percent of the ecoregion.
The Mojave Basin and Range REA encompasses land in four states, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California, covering an area of 63,377 square miles. The BLM manages 45 percent of the ecoregion.
The REAs do not contain findings and recommendations, nor do they make management decisions or allocate resource uses. The information, maps, and tools provided by the REAs should strengthen the BLM’s analyses of the projected and cumulative effects of various management scenarios.
The REAs are available online at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/