MB Rangeland & Pasture Health Initiative:
Range & Pasture Health Workbook
Manitoba’s Range and Pasture Health Assessment Method
Ecological goods and services are supported by the functions and processes in healthy range and pasture. Manitoba’s Range and Pasture Health Assessment method is a science-based procedure, modelled on the Alberta method, with some modifications for Manitoba conditions. We assess range and pasture health by comparing the current plant community to the potential community that could exist on that site. Five sets of indicators are evaluated:
Plant community composition
Plant community structure
Soil exposure and erosion
Plant residue (litter) accumulation
For using the method to assess native grassland health, you need to know what Reference Plant Communities (RPCs) are possible, as described in a Manitoba’s Rangeland Plant Communities Guides. RPCs are highly functional, and offer a target to aim towards when improving your native rangelands. But you can’t expect to achieve the same results on a Sand Ecosite in the Aspen Parkland Rangeland Ecoregion as you would a Loam Ecosite in the Tallgrass Prairie Ecoregion. Thus, you will need to know what growing conditions you are working in (i.e. “Rangeland Ecoregions” and “Ecosites”).
The workbook for assessing Native Grasslands can be found below, along with copies of the assessment worksheet and an invasive weed survey form. Check back here in the future for a method to assess health of Tame Pasture and Forested Rangelands.