The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy is a national initiative that was developed to provide a reliable mechanism for reporting on the status of renewable resources on public lands. The AIM Strategy addresses renewable resource data collection specific to vegetation, associated habitats for wildlife, and the supporting ecological components of soil and water. In general, the strategy is intended to document the distribution and abundance of natural resources on public lands, determine resource conditions, and identify natural resource trend or change.
The Alaska State BLM Office and the Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS) established a cooperative agreement for the purpose of conducting a demonstration AIM project within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). NPR-A was specifically selected due to its mandate of supplying national energy needs while protecting surface resources and its need to better incorporate resource management goals within a scientifically sound monitoring framework.
In 2016, a second cooperative agreement was established to develop and implement a terrestrial riparian monitoring program for the Eastern Interior Field Office (EIFO), based on protocols adapted from the Assessment Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) strategy for terrestrial ecosystems. This project will create linkages between aquatic and terrestrial AIM to provide quantitative baseline data on riparian vegetation and adjacent uplands that can be used to establish benchmarks and evaluate reclamation efforts in placer-mined streams in the EIFO planning area of interior Alaska.
The monitoring approach and methods presented here are the result of collaboration between the Alaska Center for Conservation Science, USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Jornada Experimental Range (JER), BLM Alaska State Office, and BLM Arctic Field Office. The draft protocol for NPR-A is based on the National Aim Strategy and associated monitoring protocols. This initial effort was led by the USDA-ARS, JER in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and the BLM.
Funding to support the development of the NPR-A protocol was provided by the BLM through a cooperative agreement with the Alaska Center for Conservation Science.