Aurora Masthead.

Indepth Info


Canyon in Southwest Idaho.



ACCELERATED EROSION: Soil loss above natural levels resulting directly from human activities. Due to the slow rate of soil formation, accelerated erosion can lead to a permanent reduction in plant productivity.

ACTIVE PREFERENCE: The difference between grazing preference and suspended preference.

ACTIVE USE: Authorized livestock use for the current billing year.

ACTIVITY PLAN: A detailed and specific plan for managing a single resource program or plan element undertaken as needed to implement the more general resource management plan decisions. An activity plan is prepared for specific areas to reach specific resource management objectives within stated time-frames.

ALLOTMENT: An area of land where one or more individuals graze their livestock. An allotment generally consists of federal rangelands, but may include- intermingled parcels of private, state, or federal lands. BLM and the Forest Service stipulate the number of livestock and season of use for each allotment.

ALLOTMENT MANAGEMENT PLAN (AMP): A livestock grazing management plan dealing with a specific unit of rangeland and based on multiple use resource management objectives. The AMP considers livestock grazing in relation to other uses of rangelands and in relation to renewable resources--watershed, vegetation, and wildlife. An AMP establishes the seasons of use, the number of livestock to be permitted on rangelands, and the rangeland improvements needed.

ALLUVIAL:Pertaining to material that is carded and deposited by running water.

ALLUVIUM:Any sediment deposited by flowing water, as in a river bed, floodplain., or delta.

ANIMAL UNIT: A unit of measure for rangeland livestock equivalent to one mature cow or five sheep or five goats, all over 6 months of age. An animal unit is based on average daily forage consumption of 26 pounds of dry matter per day.

ANIMAL UNIT MONTH (AUM): The amount of forage needed to sustain one cow, five sheep, or five goats for a month. A full AUM's fee is charged for each month of grazing by adult animals if the grazing animal (1) is weaned, (2) is 6 months old or older when entering public land, or (3) will become 12 months old during the period of use. For fee purposes, an AUM is the amount of forage used by five weaned or adult sheep or goats or one cow, bull, steer, heifer, horse, or mule. The term AUM is commonly used in three ways: (1) stocking rate as in X acres per AUM, (b) forage allocation as in X AUMs in allotment A, and (3) utilization as in X AUMs consumed from Unit a.

ANNUAL PLANT: A plant that completes its life cycle and dies in 1 year or less.

AQUATIC HABITATS: Habitats confined to streams, rivers, springs, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and other water bodies.

AQUATIC RESOURCES: Plants and animals that live within or are entirely dependent upon water to live; living resources of aquatic habitats (fish, invertebrates, amphibians); aquatic species.

AQUIFER: A water-bearing bed or layer of permeable rock, sand, or gravel capable of yielding large amounts of water.

AREA OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN (ACEC): An area within public lands where special management attention is required (1) to protect and prevent irreparable damage to fish and wildlife; important historic, cultural, or scenic values; or other natural systems or processes or (2) to protect life and safety from natural hazards.

ARID REGION: A region where precipitation is insufficient to support any but drought-adapted vegetation.

ASPECT: (1) The visual first impression of vegetation at a particular time or as seen from a specific point. (2) The predominant direction of slope of the land.

AUTHORIZED OFFICER: Any person authorized by the Secretary of the Interior to administer BLM's rangeland management program.

AVAILABLE FORAGE: Forage that can be grazed and still allow sustained forage production on rangeland. Available forage may or may not be authorized for grazing.

AVIFAUNA: All the birds of a specific region or time division.


BASAL COVER (AREA): The area of ground surface covered by the stem or stems of a rangeland plant, usually measured 1 inch above the soil, in contrast to the full spread of the foliage.


BIENNUAL PLANT: Typically these plants germinate from seed in spring and devote the first year's growing
season to developing. During the second spring or summer, the following year, they flower, set seed, and die at the end of that growing season.


BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (BIODIVERSITY): The full range of variability within and among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Biological diversity encompasses ecosystem or community diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity.

BIOMASS: The total amount of living material, plants and animals, above and below the soil surface in a biotic community.

BIOTA:The animal and plant life of a particular region considered as a total ecological entity.

BIOTIC Communities: The assemblage of native and exotic plants and animals associated with a particular site or landscape, including microorganisms, fungi, algae, vascular and herbaceous plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. These assemblages and their biotic and abiotic relationships serve landscape and watershed functions by promoting soil properties supporting water infiltration and storage, energy and nutrient fixation, recycling and transfer, species survival, and sustainable population dynamics.

BLM:Lands or water sources on a ranch that are owned by or under long-term control of the operator. Forest Service: Lands and improvements owned and used by a permittee for a farm or ranch and designated by the permittee to qualify for a term grazing permit.


CARRYING CAPACITY: The maximum stocking rate possible without damaging vegetation or related resources. Carrying capacity may vary from year to year on the same area due to fluctuating forage production.

CATEGORY 1 SPECIES: Species for which the Fish and Wildlife Service has enough information on biological vulnerability and threats to Support their listing as endangered or threatened species.

CATEGORY 2 SPECIES: Species for which the Fish and Wildlife Service has information suggesting the possible appropriateness for listing as endangered or threatened.

CERTIFICATE: A document containing a certified statement, especially as to the truth of something.

COMMUNITY: An assemblage of plant and animal populations in a common spatial arrangement.

COMMUNITY OF INTEREST: All parties concerned with the management and function of a geographical unit of land. The tie between community of interest, watershed management, and ecosystem management is important. Watersheds are the basic functional units of land that tie together the interests of a variety of participants, including ranchers, farmers, agencies, and town and city representatives. Other participants concerned with the relationships of individual watersheds to broader ecological functions should participate as members of the community of interest to influence management decisions relative to these broader perspectives.

COOL-SEASON SPECIES: Plants whose major growth occurs during the late fall, winter, and early spring.

COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT: A document that describes agreements made between BLM and the public on adjustments in grazing use. This document also defines the specific adjustments and the schedule of adjustments (usually over a 5-year period).

COORDINATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN: A plan for managing one or more grazing allotments that involves all affected resources, such as vegetation, wildlife, soil, and water.

COVER: Plants or objects used by wild animals for nesting, rearing of young, escape from predators, or protection from harmful environmental conditions.

CULTURAL PROPERTY: The definite location of a past human activity, occupation, or use identifiable through field inventory, historic documentation, or oral evidence. Cultural properties include prehistoric and historic archaeological remains, or architectural sites, structures, objects, or places with important public and scientific uses.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The fragile and nonrenewable remains of human activity found in historic districts, sites, buildings, and artifacts that are important in past and present human events.


DEFOLIATION: The removal of plant leaves, by grazing or browsing, chemical action, or natural phenomena such as hail, fire, or frost.

The future condition of rangeland resources on a landscape scale that meet management objectives. Desired future condition is based on ecological (such as desired plant community) social, and economic considerations during the land and resource management planning process. Desired future condition is usually expressed as ecological status or management status of vegetation (species composition, habitat diversity, age and size classes of species) and desired soil qualities (conditions of soil cover, erosion, compaction, loss of soil productivity)

DESIRED PLANT COMMUNITY (DPC): The plant community that has been determined through a land use or management plan to best meet the plan's objectives for a Site. A real, documented plant community that embodies the resource attributes needed for the present or potential use of an area, the desired plant community is consistent with the Site's capability to produce the required resource attributes through natural succession, management intervention, or a combination of both.

DEVELOPED RECREATION SITES: Recreation sites that have facilities, structures, or developments such as drinking water, bathrooms, picnic tables, and developed campsites.

DIRECT:To be related exactly and without interruption to or from other sources.

DISCHARGE: The rate of flow or volume of water flowing in a stream at a give place or within a given period of time.

DRAINAGE: A water source, such as a stream.



ECOLOGICAL SITE: A distinctive kind of rangeland that differs from other kinds of rangeland in its ability to produce a characteristic natural plant community.

ECOLOGICAL SITE CAPABILITY: The highest ecological status an ecological site can attain given political, social, or economical constraints.

ECOLOGICAL STATUS: The present state of vegetation and soil protection of an ecological site in relation to the potential natural community for the site. Vegetation status is the expression of the relative degree to-which the kind, proportions, and amounts of plants in a community resemble that of the potential natural community.

ECOLOGICAL SUCCESSION: An ecosystem's gradual evolution to a stable state. If, through the ability of its populations and elements, an ecosystem can absorb changes, it tends to persist and become stable through time.

ECOSYSTEM: A complete interacting system of organisms considered together with their environment.

ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT: (A) The skillful use of ecological, economic, social, and managerial principles in managing ecosystems to produce, restore, or sustain ecosystem integrity and desired conditions, uses, products, values, and services over the long-term. (B) A process of land and resource management that emphasizes the care and stewardship of an area to ensure that human activities will be carded out to protect natural processes, natural biodiversity, and ecological integrity.

EFFECTIVENESS: The ability to work towards achieving resource goals and objectives.

EFFICIENCY: The proportion of funding spent on program administration relative to funding spent on implementation.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Any animal or plant species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range as designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (EA): A concise public document for which a federal agency is responsible. An EA serves (1) to briefly provide enough evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) or a finding of no significant impact; and to aid an agency as compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act when no EIS is needed; and (2) to facilitate preparation of an EIS when one is needed. See ENVIRONMENTAL Impact STATEMENT.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES: A situation that naturally or logically follows as a result of an action. Commonly used in environmental impact statements for discussions about how the human environment, which includes the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment, is influenced by the government as actions.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS): An analytical document that portrays potential impacts on the human environment of a particular course of action and its possible alternatives. Required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an EIS is prepared for use by decision makers to weigh the environmental consequences of a potential decision.

EROSION: The wearing away of land by water, wind, gravitation other geologic agents. Natural erosion is a geologic process that occurs under natural conditions of climate and vegetation.

EXOTIC SPECIES: A species that is not native to the area where it is found.

EXOTIC VEGETATION: Plants that are not native to the region in which they are found.


FEDERAL LAND POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1976 (FLPMA): The act that (1) sets out for the Bureau of Land Management standards for managing the public lands, including land use planning, sales, withdrawals, acquisitions, and exchanges; (2) authorizes the setting up of local advisory councils representing major citizens groups interested in land use planning and management; (3) established criteria for review of proposed wilderness area; and (4) provides guidelines for other aspects of public land management such as grazing.

FISHERY: Habitat that supports some in the propagation and maintenance of fish.

FLEXIBILITY: A characteristic of a grazing management plan that allows it to accommodate changing conditions.

FORAGE: All browse and herbaceous growth available and acceptable to grazing animals or that may be harvested for feeding purposes. Forage includes pasture, rangelands, and crop aftermath. Whereas, feed includes forage, hay, and grains.

FORB: A herbaceous plant that is not a grass, sedge, or rush.


GOAL: The desired state or condition that a resource management policy or program is designated to achieve. Narrower and more specific than objectives, goals are usually not measurable and may not have specific dates by which they must be reached. Objectives are developed by first understanding one's goals.

GRASSLANDS: Lands on which the vegetation is dominated by grasses, grasslike plants, or forbs. Nonforest land is classed as grassland if herbaceous vegetation constitutes at least 80 percent of the canopy cover, excluding tress. Lands that are not now grasslands but were originally or could become grasslands through natural succession may be classified as potential natural grasslands.

GRAZING: Consumption of native forage from rangelands or pastures by livestock or wildlife.

GRAZING ALLOTMENT: An area where one or more livestock operators graze their livestock. An allotment generally consists of federal land but may include parcels of private or state-owned land.

GRAZING PERMIT/LICENSE/LEASE: Official written permission to graze a specific number, kind, and class of livestock for a specified time period on a defined rangeland.

GRAZING PREFERENCE: The status of qualified grazing permittees acquired by grant, prior use, or purchase, that entitles them to special consideration over applicants who have not acquired preferences.

GRAZING REST: Deferral of grazing on an area.

GRAZING SEASON: On federal lands, an established period for which grazing permits are issued.

GRAZING SYSTEM: Systematic sequence of grazing use and nonuse of an allotment to meet multiple use goals by improving the quality and amount of vegetation.

GROUND COVER: The percentage of material, other than bare ground, covering the land surface. Ground cover may include live and standing vegetation, litter, gravel, cobble, stones, boulders, and bedrock.

GROWING SEASON: Generally, the period of the year during which the temperature of vegetation remains high enough to allow plant growth. The most common measure of this period is the number of days between the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall.


HABITAT: The natural abode of a plant or animal, including all biotic, climatic, and soil factors affecting life.

HERBACEOUS: Vegetation growth with little or no woody component. Nonwoody vegetation, such as graminoids and forbes.

HERBIVORES: Animals that subsist mainly or entirely on plants or plant materials.

IMPACTS: The effect of one thing upon another. Impacts may be beneficial or adverse. See ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES.

INFILTRATION: The downward entry of water into the soil or other material.

INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM: A team of varied land use and resource specialists formed to provide a coordinated, integrated information base for overall land use planning and management.

KEY SPECIES: (1) Species that, because of their importance, must be considered in a management program; or (2) forage species whose use shows the degree of use of associated species.

LAND USE PLAN: Any document developed to define the kinds of use, goals and objectives, management practices and activities that will be allowed to occur on an individual or group of parcels of land.


LESSEE:One who has specified rights or privileges under a lease. The terms written in the lease define the actual length of time and seasons a lease is good for.

LITTER: The uppermost layer of organic debris on the soil surface, essentially the freshly fallen or slightly decomposed vegetal material.

LIVESTOCK: Domestic animals, including beef cattle, sheep, goats, and horses kept or produced on farms or ranches.

MAJOR LAND RESOURCE AREA: Geographically associated land resource units with particular patterns of soils, climate, vegetation types, water resources, and land uses.

MOTORIZED USE: Recreation use in which driving is the main activity and an end unto itself. Examples include scenic drives in the family car or operating off-highway vehicles for fun.

MULTIPLE USE: A combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that considers long-term needs for renewable and nonrenewable resources, including recreation, rangeland, timber, minerals, watershed, and wildlife, along with scenic, scientific, and cultural values.


NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM: A system of federally managed forest, rangelands, and related lands consisting of the national forests, the national grasslands; land utilization projects administered under Title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act; and other lands, waters, or interests therein that are administered by the Forest Service or designated for administration through the Forest Service as part of the system.

NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SYSTEM: A system of nationally designated rivers and their immediate environments that have outstanding scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural, and other similar values and are preserved in a free-flowing condition. The System consists of three types of streams: (1) Recreation--rivers or sections of rivers readily accessible by road or railroad that may have some development along their shorelines and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past, (2) scenic--rivers or sections of rivers free of impoundments with shorelines or watershed still largely undeveloped but accessible in places by roads, and (3) Wild--rivers or sections of rivers free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trails with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted.

NATIVE SPECIES (FISH): Any species that naturally occurred within a given body of water.

NEOTROPICAL Migratory BIRDS: Birds that breed in the United States and Canada and later migrate south to Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands. These birds include almost half of the bird species that breed in the United States and Canada.

NEPA ANALYSIS: Analysis conducted during the preparation of documents required under the National Environmental Policy Act, particularly environmental assessments and environmental impact statements.

NONPOINT-SOURCE POLLUTION: Water pollution whose sources cannot be pinpointed but that can be best controlled by proper soil, water, and land management practices.

NONUSE: (1) absence of grazing use on current years forage production. (2) lack of exercise, temporarily, of a grazing privilege on grazing lands. (3) an authorization to refrain, temporarily, from placing livestock on public rangelands without loss of preference for future conditions.

OBJECTIVE: The planned results to be achieved within a stated time period. Objectives are subordinate to goals, more narrow in scope, and shorter in range. Objectives must specify time periods for completion, and products or achievements that are measurable.

OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE: Any vehicle that is not permitted on a highway. Including dune buggies, four-wheelers, and dirt bikes, these vehicles are often driven for recreational purposes.

OPERATOR:One who is in the business of buying, raising, and selling livestock.

OVERSTORY: The upper canopy or canopies of plants, usually referring to trees, shrubs, and vines.


PALATABILITY: The relish with which a particular plant species or part is consumed by an animal.

PASTURE: (1) Land that is separated from other areas by a fence or natural barriers. (2) The act of letting livestock graze land for forage.

PERENNIAL STREAM: A stream that flows throughout the year for many years.

PERMEABILITY, SOIL: The ease with which gases, liquids (water), or plant roots penetrate or pass through a bulk mass of soil or a layer of soil. Since different soil horizons vary in permeability, the particular horizon under question should be designated.


PERMITTEE:One who holds a permit to graze livestock on state, federal, or certain privately-owned lands.

PERENNIAL PLANT: A plant that has a life cycle of 3 or more years.


POTENTIAL NATURAL COMMUNITIES (PNC): The stable biotic community that would become established on an ecological site if all successional stages were completed without human interference under present environmental conditions.

PRESCRIBED BURN: A controlled fire used to meet such management goals as reducing shrub and tree invasion or changing species composition toward a more desirable forage.

PRIVILEGE: The benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person or company beyond the common advantage of other citizens to graze livestock on federal lands. Privilege may be created by permit, license, lease, or agreement.

PROGRAM: The disciplines in the field of land use planning that are organized within the BLM and Forest Service to contribute to the management of public land. These disciplines include economics, rangeland, wildlife biology, botany, ecology, realty, law, and communication.

PROPERLY FUNCTIONING CONDITION: Riparian-wetland areas are functioning property when adequate vegetation, landform, or large woody debris is present to dissipate stream energy associated with high waterflows, thereby reducing erosion and improving water quality; filter sediment, capture bedload, and aid floodplain development; improve floodwater retention and groundwater recharge; develop root masses that stabilize streambanks against cutting action; develop diverse ponding and channel characteristics to provide the habitat and the water depth, duration, and temperature necessary for fish production, waterfowl breeding, and other uses; and support greater biodiversity. The functioning condition of riparian-wetland areas is influenced by geomorphic features, soil, water, and vegetation. Uplands function property when the existing vegetation and ground cover maintain soil conditions capable of sustaining natural biotic communities. The functioning condition of uplands is influenced by geographic features, soil, water, and vegetation. Also see NONFUNCTIONING CONDITION and FUNCTIONING AT RISK.

PUBLIC LANDS: As defined in Public Law 94-79, public lands are any land and interest in land outside of Alaska owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through BLM. In common usage, public lands may refer to all federal land no matter what at agency has responsibility for its management.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: A procedure allowing citizens as individuals or interest groups to review proposed government procedures or information and offer suggestions, comments, and criticism, and help identify the issues and concerns associated with federal land management.


RANGE OR RANGELAND: Rangelands, forests and woodlands, and riparian zones that support an understory or periodic cover of herbaceous or shrubby vegetation amenable to rangeland management principles or practices.

RANGE CONDITION: The current productivity of a rangeland relative to what it could naturally produce.

RANGE EXTENSION: Establishment of a species population into areas previously unoccupied, but which now support habitats suitable to maintain that species.

RANGELAND: A kind of land on which the native vegetation, climax or natural potential consists predominately of grasses, grasslike plants, forbs, or shrubs. Rangeland includes lands revegetated naturally or artificially to provide a plant cover that is managed like native vegetation. Rangelands may consist of natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, most deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet meadows.

RAPTORS: Birds of prey.

RECORD OF DECISION: A document signed by a responsible official recording a decisions that was preceded by the preparation of an environmental impact statement.

RE-ESTABLISH: The establishment of a population of a species in a basin where it historically occurred but no longer occurs there naturally.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN (RMP): A BLM planning document, prepared in accordance with Section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, that presents systematic guidelines for making resource management decisions for a resource area. Based on an analysis of an area's resources, its existing management, and its capability for alternative uses, RMPs are issue oriented and developed by an interdisciplinary team with public participation.


RIPARIAN: Pertaining to or situated on or along the bank of a stream or other body of water.

RIPARIANECOSYSTEM: A transition between an aquatic ecosystem and an adjacent terrestrial ecosystem identified by soil characteristics.or distinctive vegetation communities that require free or unbound water. Riparian ecosystems often occupy distinctive landscapes, such as floodplains or alluvial benches.

RUNOFF: The portion of the precipitation of a drainage area that flows from the area.


SEDIMENTARY ROCK: Rock formed from sediments or from transported fragments deposited in water.

SEDIMENT YIELD: The amount of sediment removed from a watershed over a specified period, usually expressed as tons, acre-feet, or cubic yards of sediment per unit of drainage area per year.

SENSITIVE SPECIES: All species that are under status review, have small or declining populations, or live in unique habitats. May also be any species needing special management. Sensitive species include threatened, endangered, and proposed species as classified by the Fish and Wildlife Service. In the Forest Service, sensitive species are designated by regional foresters.

SERAL: Pertaining to the successional stages of biotic communities.

SERAL (SUCCESSIONAL) COMMUNITY: One of a series of biotic communities that follow one another in time on any given ecological site.

SOIL HORIZON: A layer of soil or soil material roughly parallel to the land surface and differing from adjacent, genetically related layers in physical, chemical, and biological properties or characteristics, such as color, structure, texture, consistence, degree of acidity or alkalinity, and kinds and numbers of organisms present.

SOIL MOISTURE: The water content stored in a soil.

SOIL PROFILE: A vertical section of the soil from the surface through all its horizons.

SPECIAL STATUS SPECIES: Plant or animal species listed as threatened, endangered, candidate, or sensitive by federal or state governments. See also SENSITIVE SPECIES, KEYSTONE SPECIES, and KEY SPECIES.

STOCKING: The act of placing livestock on rangeland.

STOCKING RATE: The number of specific kinds and classes of animals grazing or using a unit of land for a specified time. Not the same as carrying capacity.

STREAM ENERGY: The potential of flowing water, at a given time and place, to detach and transport solid particles.

STRUCTURAL DIVERSITY: The diversity of the composition, abundance, spacing, and other attributes of plants in a community.


SUITABILITY: The adaptability of a particular plant or animal species to a given ecological site.

SUITABILITY CRITERIA: In protecting a site from resource damage, the standards for judging whether a rangeland should be accessible to a specific kind of animal.

SUITABLE RANGE: Rangeland that is accessible to a specific kind of animal and that can be grazed on a sustained yield basis without damage to the resource.

SUPPLEMENT: The augmentation of additional individuals to an existing population.

SUSPENDED NONUSE: Forage from BLM-administered land that at one time could be grazed by livestock, but was later suspended from grazing because an evaluation showed that the rangeland could not support that level of grazing. Although suspended forage cannot be used, it remains as part of the total number of animal unit months of forage on grazing permits.

SUSTAINED YIELD: The continuation of a healthy desired plant community.


TAKE: As defined by the Endangered Species Act, "to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, capture, or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct."

TAYLOR GRAZING ACT OF 1934 (TGA): The Act of June 28, 1934, providing for the regulation of grazing on the public lands (excluding Alaska) to improve rangeland conditions and stabilize the western livestock industry. The law permitted 80 million acres to be placed into grazing district to be administered by the Department of the Interior as Division of Grazing (later renamed the Grazing Service) . The General Land Office was responsible for administering grazing on public lands outside the districts. TGA conferred broad powers on the Secretary of the Interior to do all things needed for the preservation and use of the unreserved public lands of the United States.

THREATENED SPECIES: Any plant or animal species likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a part of its range as designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. See ENDANGERED SPECIES.

TRAILING: (1) Controlled directional movement of livestock. (2) Natural trailing is the habit of livestock or wildlife repeatedly treading in the same line or path.

UNDERSTORY: Plants growing beneath the canopy of other plants, usually grasses, forbs, and low shrubs.

UNSUITABLE RANGE: Rangeland that is not accessible to a specific kind of animal and that cannot be grazed on a sustained yield basis without damaging the resource.

UPLAND GAME: A term used in wildlife management to refer to hunted animals that are neither big game nor waterfowl. Upland game includes such birds as grouse, turkey, pheasant, quail, and dove, and such mammals as rabbit and squirrel.

UPLANDS: Land at a higher elevations than the alluvial plain or low stream terrace; all lands outside the riparian-wetland and aquatic zones.

UTILIZATION: The proportion of a years forage production that is consumed or destroyed by grazing animals.


VEGETATION: Plants in general, or the sum total of the plant life above and below the soil surface in an area.

VIGOR: The capacity for natural growth and survival of plants and animals.

WARM SEASON SPECIES: Plants whose major growth occurs during the spring, summer, or fall, and are usually dormant-in winter. See COOL-SEASON SPECIES.

WATER QUALITY STANDARDS: Standards for water quality established under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act. The water quality standards program is covered by an implementing regulation in 40 CFR 131. A water quality standard is a rule or law consisting of three elements: (1) the designated use (or uses) to be made of the water body or segment; (2) the water quality criteria needed to protect that use (or uses); and (3) an antidegradation policy. Standards are to protect the public health or welfare, improve water quality, and serve the purpose of the Clean Water Act. Criteria are usually established thresholds that when violated are intended to reveal harm to beneficial uses of water.

WATERSHED: The total area above a given point on a waterway that contributes runoff water to the streamflow at that point.

WETLANDS: Permanently wet or intermittently water-covered areas, such as swamps, marshes, bogs, muskegs, potholes, swales, and glades.

WILDERNESS AREA: An area designated by Congress where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by humans, where people are visitors who do not remain. An area of undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, that is protected and managed to preserve its natural conditions and that (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with human imprints substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least 5,000 acres of land or is large enough to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

WOODY: Consisting of wood such as trees or bushes.


YEAR-LONG GRAZING: Continuous grazing for a calendar year.


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