Rangelands globally have been degraded by a combination of overgrazing, fire suppression, invasive species, and other impacts. Working with The Earth Partners, Brinkman Earth Systems surveyed and sampled soils on rangelands in New Mexico which had been impacted by invasion of native juniper and pine species. Prior to management commencing on these lands, frequent fires maintained these areas in grassland or very open savannah conditions. With the reduction in range fires due to fire control, native tree and brush species have invaded the sites, changing hydrology and soil conditions. This invasion has significantly reduced forage production and grassland species diversity.
Based on the survey results, Brinkman Earth Systems developed an ecological and financial model of potential restoration activities on the New Mexico site which included estimation of the forage and soil carbon benefits. The goal of the project is to restore the grassland ecosystems, providing enhanced forage production, soil chemistry and hydrology, with monetization of soil carbon increases resulting from the restoration providing funding to undertake the juniper removal and rangeland enhancement activities.