USGS header imageUSGS header image


Common  Approach







Standardized Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Monitoring Protocols

Picture of burned sagebrush community in southern Idaho


Project Description

Fire rehabilitation programs have existed within federal agencies since the early 1960s.  The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are the largest users of emergency stabilization and rehabilitation (ES&R) funds, but these agencies only sporadically implement proposed monitoring and rarely use common protocols (Government Accountability Office (GAO)  2003). As a result, it is impossible to draw scientifically credible conclusions regarding the effectiveness of ES&R projects. Additionally, the data that does exist are stored in field office files and are often not available for other managers to use when planning new ES&R treatments.

This objectives of this project are to facilitate analysis of ES&R projects  by proposing data collection procedures that are comparable between projects on a regional scale by:

  • Investigating a common approach and methodology to assess the effectiveness of ES&R projects region-wide.

  • Using field based computers to enter data in a standard format that can be uploaded to a central BLM database.

  • Analyze collected data at regular intervals to determine overall success and to identify factors involved in successful treatments.

A common monitoring strategy would help address GAO concerns by monitoring multiple projects with comparable methods, consistently documenting results and enabling the creation and maintenance of a central database for query and reporting, and ultimately determining the effectiveness of post-fire rehabilitation activities region-wide.


U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Last Update: October 24, 2007
USGS Disclaimer || Accessibility