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Monitoring Projects

May contain: person, human, grassland, field, outdoors, and nature

RCDTC personnel complete annual Residual Dry Matter (RDM) monitoring and biennial vernal pools monitoring in the Coyote Creek Conservation Area west of Red Bluff in order to monitor the influence of livestock on invasive species and soil health.

Residual Dry Matter (RDM) is a standard used by land management agencies for assessing the level of grazing use on annual rangelands and associated savannas and woodlands (George et al. 1996). Residual dry matter is the old plant material left standing or on the ground at the beginning of a new growing season. It indicates the combined effects of the previous season’s forage production and its consumption by grazing animals of all types. Properly managed RDM can be expected to provide a high degree of protection from soil erosion and nutrient losses (Bartolome et al. 2002).

Vernal pools are seasonal depressional wetlands that occur under the Mediterranean climate conditions of the West Coast and in glaciated areas of northeastern and midwestern states. They are covered by shallow water for variable periods from winter to spring but may be completely dry for most of the summer and fall. These wetlands range in size from small puddles to shallow lakes and are usually found in a gently sloping plain of grassland. Vernal pools are habitat for the endangered vernal pool fairy shrimp. (US EPA)