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Rangeland Assessment and Management Tools

This page provides information about tools for assessment, monitoring and management of sagebrush rangelands. Over the past several years, there has been a proliferation of rangeland datasets and decision support tools, which provides new opportunities to use a wealth of powerful new data sources in decision-making. However, it also poses challenges in keeping up with an ever changing list of products, understanding their uses and limitations, and determining how they can efficiently generate actionable information to improve management outcomes.

Overview of Tools and Technical Resources

  • The Rangeland tools diagram provides a simple visual depiction of selected commonly used and emerging tools for assessment and management of rangelands based on their management application and scale of use.
  • The SageCon tools navigator links to the primary decision support tools for rangeland planning in Oregon, including three tools for data delivery, development monitoring and mitigation siting in Oregon. The Navigator also links to other tools and resources available across the western US for decision support in sagebrush rangelands.


Using Remotely Sensed Maps in Rangeland Management

Remotely sensed maps have the potential to revolutionize rangeland management due to the large volume of spatially-continuous data depcollage of screenshots from vegetation mapsicting rangeland vegetation. In addition, many newer products map vegetation each year over multiple decades, opening new doors to efficiently evaluate trends over time across large landscapes. The resources below provide practical resources to help users find, understand, evaluate and use maps in rangeland management applications, and include a list of vegetation maps .

Map guidance:

  • Guiding principles for using satellite-derived maps in rangeland management (Allred et al. 2021) outlines four guiding principles as a practical guide for how to integrate maps into rangeland decision-making. In addition to the publication linked above, see a short 9-minute presentation or longer 16-minute presentation on these principles.
  • A short Rangeland pre-assessment workflow provides a suggested set of steps prior to conducting a rangeland condition assesessment. The four-page document walks readers through a series of leading questions with the goal of improving the efficiency of an assessment through effectively leveraging maps and other data sources.
  • See the Rangeland vegetation map guidance document for tips on how to approach the use of rangeland vegetation maps, steps for evaluating or choosing a product, and options for summarizing maps for an area of interest. This guidance is primarily intended for practitioners interested in using maps to support decision making at the scale of Counties, Districts or Field Offices.

Map products:

  • A list of rangeland vegetation maps provides basic information about the various map products depicting rangeland vegetation cover. This list includes maps available in Oregon and throughout the Great Basin.
  • The SageCon Partnership has also produced synthesis maps, which combine multiple individual maps for a snapshot of overall condition or to address a targeted management applications. Current synthesis maps include:


Threat-Based Land Management

Threat-based land management (also called threat models) provides a framework for land managers to efficiently identify, communicate and address the landscape-level threats of invasive annual grasses, wildfire and juniper encroachment in sagebrush rangelands. New technology has enabled mapping of threat-based ecostates across southeastern Oregon.


These resources were compiled by Megan Creutzburg, Institute for Natural Resources, for the Oregon SageCon Partnership. It was last updated in August 2022. Contact Megan at with questions or feedback.