Range Health

healthy rangeland

What is rangeland health?

We use the term "rangeland health" to mean the ability of rangeland to perform certain key functions. The term health conveys the meaning that all parts that make up the whole, are present and working together.

Recently, within the range scientific community, there has been a move to define rangeland health on a broader list of functions. For rangelands, the functions of healthy range include:

  • Net primary production
  • Maintenance of soil/site stability
  • Capture and beneficial release of water
  • Nutrient and energy cycling
  • Functional diversity of plant species

Rangeland health monitoring

The Alberta Rangeland Health Task Group has developed a short form that can be used to monitor the functions and assess the health of the various rangeland plant community types.

This monitoring information, coupled with detailed range inventories, has allowed the department to develop detailed ecological classifications and determine the health of rangelands on public land.

The range health tool is also available for use by:

  • The ranching public
  • Students
  • Researchers and other resource managers

Rangeland health workbook and field worksheets

Before using these materials: You will require range plant community guides to apply the new health assessment method. For a listing of existing plant community guides, see:


Field Worksheets and Score Sheets



Tame Pasture


Page Information

Updated: May 4, 2017