Promoting the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of rangelands through the development and widespread use of the criteria & indicators for rangeland assessments, and by providing a forum for dialogue on the sustainability of rangelands.

Future Directions for Usable Science for Rangeland Sustainability
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Ardmore, OK
June 2-5, 2014.
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Rangeland: Areas dominated by self-propagating vegetation comprised predominantly of grasses, grass-likes, forbs, shrubs, and dispersed trees.
Sustainable Development (Brundtland Definition): Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Includes the economic, social, and ecological realms.

The above definition was first expressed by the Brundtland Commission in its 1987 report, Our Common Future. It infers two key objectives for the United States: (1) an innovative, resource-efficient economy that delivers a desired quality of life, and (2) a healthy natural environment. Sustainable management refers to strategic management approaches taken by national governments, not management of local rangelands.
Development: Using and developing resources in order for people to meet their social and economic needs.
Sustainable Rangeland Management: Management of rangeland ecosystems to provide a desired mix of benefits to the present generation without compromising their ability to provide benefits for future generations.
Criterion: A category of conditions or processes that is an explicit goal of sustainable development or by which sustainable development can be assessed. A criterion is too general in scope to monitor directly, but can be characterized by a set of indicators that can be monitored over time.

A category of capacity, the maintenance of which is an explicit goal by which sustainable development can be assessed.
Indicator: A variable that can be assessed in relation to a criterion. It should describe attributes of the criterion in an objectively verifiable and unambiguous manner as practicable, and is capable of being estimated periodically in order to detect trends.
Scale: (1) Dimensions in time and space. Note: A dependency between temporal and spatial scales is well recognized in ecology. (2) A progressive classification of ecological and socio-economic systems. (3) In hierarchy theory, scale is the period of time or space over which signals regarding a system are smoothed in order to give a message. Signals come from data that are limited by the grain and extent (spatial and temporal sampling universe).