Range Health

healthy rangeland

What is rangeland health?

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

Range health references the ability of the rangeland to perform key ecosystem functions and includes the assessment of certain ecological criteria, which indirectly measure ecosystem function. 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

Short forms for forest, grassland, and tame can be used to monitor the function 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 ecological health of rangelands on public land.

The range health tool is also available for use by:

  • The ranching public
  • Students
  • Researchers
  • 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:



Page Information

Updated: Nov 20, 2018