National Drought Mitigation Center

Tracking Drought Impacts

Benefits of monitoring during and after drought

Julie Elliott, a rangeland management specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NRCS in Wray, Colo., details what to look for when photographically monitoring range conditions during and after drought. Photos are more reliable than memory for helping spot changes to range condition.(slides, pdf)

Setting up a photo point

Dr. Pat Reece, of Prairie Montane Enterprises, talks about using photo points, a method that involves photographing the same location in different seasons over the years to document seasonal and long-term change. Photos can help ranchers identify change sooner, whether it’s improvement as a result of a new management system, or stress, as a result of drought or other unfavorable conditions. (slides, pdf)

Download the guidebook Pat refers to here: Photo points guidebook (pdf)

GrassSnap: making monitoring easier

Bethany Johnston, UNL Extension, reviews GrassSnap, a new app for smart phones that simplifies positioning for photo points. The combination of cameras in phones and dedicated apps make it easier than ever before for ranchers to create photographic records. (slides, pdf)

For more information on GrassSnap, visit

Uploading ranch impact photos to the Drought Impact Reporter

Kelly Helm Smith, National Drought Mitigation Center, talks about how and why ranchers can contribute their photos to the Drought Impact Reporter, a national, web-based archive of drought impacts.(slides, pdf)