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Chelsea Carey, PhD


Director of Soil Research and Conservation

Range-C Handbook

So, you’re ready to monitor carbon on your ranch?

The Rangeland Carbon Monitoring Program (hereafter called The Range-C Program) aims to help practitioners conduct transparent fit-for-purpose monitoring of aboveground and belowground carbon in response to rangeland management. It provides guidance on the selection of monitoring designs, sampling protocols, and laboratory methodologies to evaluate the influence of management practices on carbon. In addition, it provides technological support to help land stewards interpret and communicate their findings. At the same time that it supports efforts at the ranch scale, The Range-C Program is designed to evaluate management effects on carbon at regional scales using the aggregated network-wide dataset.

This handbook starts by introducing important concepts as they relate to The Range-C Program, beginning with background information, guidance on indicator selection, sampling frequency, point selection, and sampling density. It then moves on to provide practice-specific guidance before introducing detailed methodology for all of the carbon indicators. We recommend following the handbook from start to finish, but users should also feel free to navigate through the sections in whatever way is most useful.

Erika Foster, PhD, working out the upcoming carbon monitoring protocol in the field at a STRAW restoration site. Credit: Lishka Arata/Point Blue.

What’s in the handbook?

  • Why Rangelands?
  • Why Monitor Carbon?
  • About The Range-C Program
  • Monitoring Objectives
  • A Tiered Scoring Approach
  • Selecting Carbon Indicators
  • Ensuring Data Quality
  • Identifying the Study Area
  • Selecting Sampling Points
  • Determine the Number of Samples
  • Combining Samples
  • Practice-Specific Considerations
  • Indicator Methodology
  • Record Monitoring and Management Information
  • Data Management and Interpretation
  • Example Roadmap for Using the Range-C
  • Tools in the appendices and References
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