Wyoming’s high desert riparian areas cover less than 1% of the landscape but account for up to 20% of forage. Livestock spend disproportionate time in these areas, inflicting disproportionate ecological impact by grazing and trampling, cited causes of increased riparian erosion and hummocking [citations 1-5]. Wetland hummocks are elevated soil pedestals separated by inter-hummock channels draining the wetland and eroding the organic soils that are the “sponge” for holding water in the system and prolonging streamflow that wildlife (and humans) depend on.
A remote sensing project in cooperation with Northern Arizona University and the BLM detects newly created networks from illegal human activities: vehicular routes, human trails, and accumulations of litter, debris, and hazardous materials. The project will assist in evaluating the health of the landscape and public enjoyment of national monuments.