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Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

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Biology | Life Sciences


The Northern Region Landbird Monitoring Program (NRLMP) began in 1990 as a cooperative effort between the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the University of Montana. The combination of a research-oriented perspective from the University and a management-needs perspective from the National Forests within the Northern Region led to the realization that landbirds as a group might serve as a powerful tool to address more widespread monitoring needs in the USFS Northern Region. The program quickly evolved from one that was put into place specifically to use federally earmarked dollars to address neotropical migratory bird conservation, into a more general region-wide monitoring program. Today, the program is uniquely designed to provide two kinds of monitoring activity—one is conducted during even-numbered years and is designed to shed light on the long-term population trends and habitat relationships of numerous landbird species within the region; the other is conducted during odd-numbered years and is designed to shed light on the ecological effects of various kinds of land use activity. The University of Montana had (and continues to provide) the expertise needed to handle the design, training, data management, analysis, and information dissemination components, while the USFS had (and continues to provide) the funding needed to hire seasonal technicians who conduct the actual bird monitoring and it has the management needs that serve as the primary driver of short-term management effects assessments. It is the short-term management effects monitoring and the habitat-relationships information that have generated the most support for the monitoring program within the USFS. Overall, the program is widely viewed as useful and successful, but obstacles that still need to be overcome include (1) the incorporation of monitoring results into a more formal adaptive management cycle within the USFS, and (2) the inclusion of additional state, federal, and private corporation partners so that the program emerges as one part of a more comprehensive statewide (or broader) landbird monitoring program, and (3) the recognition that monitoring buy-in involves support for more than the field effort involved with data collection.


monitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, Northern Region Landbird Monitoring Program (NRLMP)


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