- This report describes the Reconnaissance and the Square Foot Density methods of range survey as used during the past few years on the National Forests and other range lands. These methods are used to estimate and help in calculating the carrying capacity of the range.
The object of range surveys is to secure practically the fullest and most accurate up-to-date information, in connection with the use and administration of the range and related resources for such purposes as livestock production, watershed production, game conservation, recreation, and other legitimate demands. It is for the purpose of obtaining these basic facts, analyzing the various
problems and from them developing a comprehensive plan for managing the resource that range surveys are conducted. A completed plan of range management should show what the range resource is, its physical condition, its relation to other resources, and how it may be best utilized,
developed and improved. It must also be remembered that the training of the men who take part in the work is just of great importance as the collection of field data and the preparation of management plans.
The data for this report were obtained from an actual range appraisal made in the summer of 1936 using the Reconnaissance method and in the summer of 1937 using the Square Foot Density method. Data were also obtained by interviewing men interested in range work, listening to lectures, and from written pamphlets on the subject. The purpose was to assimilate and prepare this report so
as to give one a better idea of the working feasibility of range survey methods.
Typical range areas when these methods are employed vary so greatly that new problems arise all the time. Topography, climate, soil conditions and forage species all vary so greatly from place to place that it is often hard to properly classify the range lands as the cover, in many cases, is composed of as many as four species, each of which occupy 20% or more of the area being
typed. That is 20% of the area may be covered by pine, 20% by ceanothu6, and 20% by grasses, in which case, it would be correct to call this particular area a pine type, a ceanothus type or a grassland type, as all that is necessary to name an area is that 20% or more of the cover be made up of the type-name given it.
Although one range examiner may call the above mentioned area a pine type a second examiner may call it a grassland type, no differance is made in determining the carrying capacity of the area provided the two examiners break types in the same place and, as a result, the two agree on the number of acres in that particular type.