Ecological Site Descriptions Workshops and Presentations - 2005 to 2010

November 16-18, 2010 Rangeland Interagency ESD Pilot Workshop Las Cruces, NM

Link to Rangelands website with ESD meeting information and agendas - https://www.

Tuesday - Workshop Day 1 - Target Audience:  WO Leadership, Regional and State Technical Leadership, Point-of-contact Field-Level Employees

Agency Leadership - Significance of the Workshop

  • NRCS - Michael Hubbs, Director of Ecological Sciences Division
  • USFS - James Peña, Associate Deputy Chief (video link)
  • BLM - Mike Pool, Deputy Director (video link)

A Collaborative Approach: The Value, Use and Applicability of ESDs to the Agency Mission

Agency Implementation and Needs -

What is an Ecological Site Description? Historical Development and Emerging Science (Brandon Bestelmeyer, ARS, NM)

The Science behind Ecological Sites. How can the current research and science contribute to the development of ecological sites and what are some emerging trends? The intent is to respond to morning presentations (above) by agency leaders

Wednesday - Workshop Day 2 - Target Audience:  Regional and State Technical Leadership, Point-of-contact Field-Level Employees

Principles of ES Development (broad overview of principles and approaches) - developing ESD concepts at the regional scale, grouping soil properties into functional units, developing State and Transition Models, testing, refining and correlating Ecological Sites (Brandon Bestelmeyer, ARS and Pat Shaver, NRCS)

Delivering the information - Case Examples of Success in the Field - Using Case examples……..identify utility and success of ESDs

Leticia Lister, BLM, NM; Judith Dyess, USFS, NM; Kenneth Alcon, NRCS, NM


February 2010 Climate Change and Potential Natural Vegetation - at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management Denver, CO

Land managers, federal agencies, and international aid organizations often recognize management targets and degradation based on ecological potential, historical range of variation, or potential natural vegetation. This relationship has been codified in U.S. rangeland management via ecological site descriptions (ESDs). Climate change may dramatically alter potential natural vegetation in many rangelands. Unless ESDs can be developed to anticipate and accommodate climate change effects, they could rapidly become obsolete. On the other hand, ESDs could serve as valuable tools for understanding how climate change effects are mediated by soil-geomorphic properties and existing vegetation condition.


January 28, 2008 State-and-Transition Models: Triggers, Feedbacks and Thresholds Louisville, KY

The 2008 Joint Meeting of the Society for Range Management and the American Forage and Grassland Council


August 14-16, 2007 Riparian Ecological Site Description Workshop Albuquerque, NM

Selected Key Terms, Stream Geomorphology - by W. Barry Southerland, Fluvial Geomorphologist

Part 654 - Stream Restoration Design - USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service


October 23-25, 2007 Understanding and Improving Applications for Wildlife Habitat Management in Sagebrush Ecosystems Park City, UT

Following the workshop, there were many requests for opportunities to view the high quality presentations provided at the workshop. As a result, speaker presentations are now availbable at:

We thank the speakers for their efforts at the workshop and their willingness to share their informative presentations.

Workshop organizers have also produced a "Synthesis of the Comments From the Breakout Sessions". This document can be viewed at:


August 28-30, 2006 State and Transition Monitoring Workshop Corvallis, OR


September 26-27, 2006 Integrating Soil Properties and Ecological Site Descriptions Las Cruces, NM

This was a meeting of the Interagency Ecological Site Manual Team and included participants from Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, ARS-Jornada Experimental Range, National Park Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. This meeting was hosted by Agricultural Research Service-Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces, New Mexico.


November 15-18, 2005 Ecological Site Description Development Workshop Jornada Experimental Range, NMSU, Las Cruces, NM