[ HOME | Appendix Contents | Glossary | Abbreviations | Contacts & Links | The Finder ]

[ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ]


Radiation (Solar)
The process (or the radiated energy itself) in which energy is emitted from the sun, transmitted through space, and received by Earth.
Radiochemical Species
Refers to the individual radioactive elements that produce radioactivity, such as radium 226, cobalt 60, strontium 90, and tritium.
The quantity of water that falls as rain only (not other precipitation), in a given period of time.
Rainfall Intensity
The rate at which rain is falling at any given instant, usually expressed in inches per hour.
All land producing naturalized or native forage for animal consumption, and lands that are revegetated naturally or artificially to provide a forage cover that is managed like naturalized or native vegetation. Generally considered as land that is not cultivated. It may include forestlands that support an understory or periodic cover of herbaceous or shrubby plants suitable for grazing without impairing other forest values.
Land on which the native vegetation is predominately grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs suitable for grazing or browsing use. Forested sites and nonforested sites providing forage and habitat for domestic and wild herbivores are included (US Forest Service, 2005)
Range Allotment (Allotment)
An area Designated for the use by a prescribed number of cattle or sheep, or by common use of both under one plan of management.
Range, Annual
Range on which the principal forage plants are herbaceous species which only live for one year.
Range, Closed
A suitable range that is closed to grazing by domestic livestock.
Range Condition
The state and health of the range based on what it is naturally capable of producing.
Range Condition and Trend
(1) Range condition -- the status of vegetation and soil of a given range area in relation to the optimum status (considered by some to be climax community) obtainable under the prevailing environmental conditions. (2) The terms range condition and trend are used to express the idea that at any given moment in time a vegetation unit assumes a specific set of characteristics (condition) and that these characteristics change (trend).
Range Condition Class
One of a series of arbitrary categories used to classify range condition, usually expressed as either excellent, good, fair, or poor.
Range Improvement
Any structure or excavation to facilitate managing of range or livestock (physical) or an increase in the grazing capacity or condition of range (biological).
Range, Key Winter
The small portion of the total year's range where big game animals find food and/or cover during severe winter weather.
Range Management
Making decisions and taking action to direct and manipulate range use to obtain sustained maximum profitable animal production and other stated benefits, consistent with perpetuating the natural resources of rangelands.
Range of Variation
Spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem characteristics during a period of time when the influences of European-American settlement were minimal.
Range, Open
All suitable range of an area upon which grazing is permitted, and typically those which have not been fenced into management units
Range, Primary
Areas which animals prefer to use and over which they will graze when management is limited. These areas will experience overuse when animals are allowed to shift for themselves.
Range Readiness
The stage of growth of the important palatable plants on the range and the condition of soil which permit grazing without animals unduly compacting the soil or endangering the ability of the plants to maintain themselves.
Range, Secondary
Range which is lightly used or unused by livestock under minimal management and will ordinarily not be fully used until the primary range has been overused.
Range Site
An area of land having a combination of soil, climatic, topographic and natural biotic factors that result in plants significantly different from those on other nearby areas.
Range, Statistical
(1) The maximum and minimum values in a set of data. (2) The difference between the upper and lower values in a set of data.
Range Suitability
The adaptability of a range to grazing by livestock and/or game.
Range, Suitable
Range which is accessible to livestock or game and which can incur sustained grazing without damage to other resources.
Range, Transitory
Land that is suitable for grazing use of a non-enduring or temporary nature over a period of time. For example, on particular disturbed lands, grass may cover the area for a period of time before being replaced by trees or shrubs not suitable for forage.
Range, Unsuitable
An area which has no value for, or which should not be used by, livestock because of steep topography, barrenness, dense timber, lack of forage, or unstable soils.
Land, a major use of which has been grazing by livestock and big game animals. It is land on which the potential natural vegetation (climax) of plants is dominated by native grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, and shrubs. Some rangelands have been or may be seeded to introduced or domesticated plant species but are managed like native vegetation. Rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, many deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet meadows. It includes facilities and areas of water but is generally land with less than 25 percent tree canopy or less than 10 percent stocking with forest trees of any size.
Rangeland Vegetation
Vegetation on all land with rangeland resource objectives or rangeland resource values, including riparian areas. Generally, the focus is on land supporting grass or grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs during one or more ecological stages. Forested and non-forested sites providing forage and habitat for wild and domestic animal species are included. See "Range" above.
Rangeland Grazing System
All of those activities that bear directly upon managing, protecting, and developing the land for livestock or wildlife grazing. It also includes the cooperative aspects of state and private forestry associated with producing livestock. Research provides the system with management alternatives that relate range productivity with other forest and range land resources.
(1)Engaging in one or more of a diverse set of extended, dispersed outdoor or rural activities for health, recreation, study, appreciation, and adventure. It may also mean the enterprises that are related and that promote, support, and supply these activities and the areas and resources used. It includes (but is not limited to) hiking, tramping, trecking, camping, rock and tree climbing, biking, horseback trail riding, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kyacking, boating, touring, sightseeing, studying nature, and active wildlife watching. (2)As an adjective, it modifies actions and conditions that tend to stabilize and improve the lands and waters of a region for high quality diverse outdoor recreational and viewing activities. (3) The strategy or program for developing a system devoted to a system of many of these activities and events.
A word like ranging can help provide structure to the confusing array of inconsistent writing and work in the expansive areas such as outdoor recreation, adventure tourism, nature tourism, and ecotourism. Ecotourism is for visitors to an area; ranging is for residents as well as visitors.
A predatory bird; a carnivorous bird.
Rare Species
See Species, Rare.
Roadless Areas Review and Evaluation II. A National study that identified and classified roadless areas that were recommended to Congress as (1) Wilderness; (2) Non-Wilderness; and (3) Further Planning Areas.
See Resource Analysis Unit.
Raw Land (Undeveloped Land)
Undeveloped land or land not subdivided in contrast to land which has been built upon (i.e., "developed") or subdivided in preparation for development.
Real Dollar Value
A monetary value that compensates for the effects of inflation.
Receipt Shares
The portion of receipts derived from Federal land resource management that is distributed to State and county governments, e.g., the Forest Service's 25 percent fund payments.
Recently Extinct Species
See Species, Recently Extinct or Possibly Extinct.
The addition of water (or the water itself) to an aquifer that occurs naturally from infiltration of rainfall and from water flowing over Earth materials.
(1) The process of converting disturbed lands or mined land to its former (or other) productive uses or form, e.g., filling in of open pits, grading of the mined area, reducing high walls, replacing topsoil, planting, and revegetating. (2) Recovery to a state of closure of nutrient pathway loops that are as closed (or open) as before disturbance through all of the range of geologic and climatic conditions to which the site is potentially subject. (3) The process of making a site habitable to organisms that were originally present or others like the original inhabitants. (4) Returning disturbed lands to a form and productivity that will be ecologically balanced and in conformity with the predetermined land-management plan.
Reclamation, Effective
Rehabilitating mining-affected land to make it acceptable for Designated purposes, with protection of the natural resources and aesthetic value of adjoining areas.
Reconnaissance Survey
A preliminary visit and report usually executed rapidly and at a relatively low cost.
Record of Decision
A document separate from, but associated with, an environmental impact statement that publicly and officially discloses the responsible official's decision as to which alternative assessed in the EIS is to be implemented.
Use of leisure time for personal satisfaction and enjoyment and for physical and mental health. Recreation may be a basic human need. It may be undertaken individually or with others. It may be planned or spontaneous. It may be passive or active, may or may not require skills and training, and may or may not require a Designated area. It includes such activities as swimming, picnicking, boating, hunting, and fishing. It is not a resource but a complex activity composed of people (the recreationists), the environments, and their actions. Recreation, for some people, exists in the mind and takes place in an environment. Outdoor recreation involves protecting, preserving, developing, using, and enjoying scenery, water, primitive or natural landscape (including roadless areas), wildlife, natural phenomena (e.g., petrified wood), and archeological and historical sites.
Recreation Area, Developed
A relatively small, distinctly defined area where concentrated public use for the more traditional recreation purposes predominates, e.g., campgrounds, picnic areas, swimming areas.
Recreation Composite
An identified geographical area containing special, significant and needed outdoor recreation resources, features, or opportunities and concentrations of land. They may be planned as a composite.
Recreation, Concentrated
Those types of activities associated with developed recreation sites, e.g., such as campgrounds, picnic grounds, ski areas, fishing ramps, scenic overlooks, interpretive sites.
Recreation Day
A standard unit of use for an area or activity consisting of a visit by one individual to a recreation development or area for recreation purposes during any reasonable portion or all of a 24-hour period. This corresponds roughly with what is termed a "recreation visit". For example, if the average stay at a picnic site were four hours, then a four-hour visit to the picnic site by one person would be a recreation day. (See Recreation Visitor Day.)
Recreation, Dispersed (Extensive)
Recreation of various kinds that occurs, largely individual, scattered, generally throughout a large area, and is not confined to a specific place or developed facilities. Examples are recreational use of trails, natural lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and generally undeveloped areas. It includes such activities as hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, using snowmobiles, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.
Recreation Information Management System (RIM)
A Forest Service system which compiles recreation visitor use information by type and intensity of use.
Recreation, Intensive
High-density recreational activities, e.g., developed camp and picnic grounds, swimming beaches, hiking trails that are major access routes into wilderness areas, all-terrain vehicle areas.
Recreation Land
Land and water used primarily for recreation. (Recreation may be a secondary use of land where woodland, cropland, rangeland, etc., is the primary use).
Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS)
Land delineation that identifies a variety of recreation experience opportunities categorized into six classes on a continuum from primitive to urban. Each class is defined in terms of the degree to which it satisfies certain recreation experience needs, based on the extent to which the natural environment has been modified, the type of facilities provided, the degree of outdoor skills needed to enjoy the area, and the relative density of recreation use. The six classes are:
  1. Primitive - Area is characterized by an essentially unmodified natural environment of fairly large size. Interaction between users is very low and evidence of other users is minimal. The area is managed to be essentially free from evidence of human-induced restrictions and controls. Motorized use within the area is not permitted.
  2. Semiprimitive Non-motorized - Area is characterized by a predominantly natural or natural-appearing environment of moderate to large size. Interaction between users is low, but there is often evidence of other users. The area is managed in such a way that minimum on-site controls and restrictions may be present but would be subtle. Motorized recreation use is not permitted, but local roads used for other resource management activities may be present on a limited basis. Use of such roads is restricted to minimize impact on recreational experience opportunities.
  3. Semi-primitive Motorized - Area is characterized by a predominantly natural or natural appearing environment of moderate to large size. Concentration of users is low, but there is often evidence of other users. The area is managed in such a way that minimum onsite controls and restrictions may be present but would be subtle. Motorized recreation use of local primitive or collector roads with predominantly natural surfaces and trails suitable for motor bikes is permitted.
  4. Roaded Natural - Area is characterized by predominantly natural appearing environments with moderate evidence of the sights and sounds of man. Such evidence usually harmonizes with the natural environment. Interaction between users may be moderate to high, with evidence of other users prevalent. Resource modification and utilization practices are evident but harmonize with the natural environment. Conventional motorized use is allowed and incorporated into construction standards and design of facilities.
  5. Rural - Area is characterized by a natural environment that has been substantially modified by development of structures, vegetative manipulation, or pastoral agricultural development. Resource modification and utilization practices may be used to enhance specific recreation activities and to maintain vegetative cover and soil. Sights and sounds of humans are readily evident, and the interaction between users is often moderate to high. A considerable number of facilities are designed for use by a large number of people. Facilities are often provided for special activities. Moderate user densities are present away from developed sites. Facilities for intensified motorized use and parking are available.
  6. Urban - Area is characterized by a substantially urbanized environment, although the background may have natural-appearing elements. Renewable resource modification and utilization practices are often used to enhance specific recreation activities. Vegetative cover is often exotic and manicured. Sights and sounds of humans are predominant onsite. Large numbers of users can be expected both onsite and in nearby areas. Facilities for highly intensified motor use and parking are available with forms of mass transit often available to carry people throughout the site.
The suggested abbreviations: Urban (U),Rural (R), Roaded Natural (RN), Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized (SPNM), Semi-primitive Motorized (SPM), and Primitive (P) (FSManual 2311).
Recreation, Primitive
Those types of recreational activities associated with unroaded land, e.g., hiking, backpacking, and cross-country travel.
Recreation Resource
The combination of the natural qualities of land and water areas and the ability and desire of people to use this combination for recreation.
Recreation Visitor Day (RVD)
One visitor day equals 12 hours (one person for 12 hours, or 12 people for 1 hour, or any combination thereof that totals 12 hours).
Recreational Experience Levels
The extent to which various classes of outdoor recreation experiences provide opportunities for satisfying some of the basic needs of individuals, e.g., to find isolation and solitude, to socialize, to achieve self-fulfillment, for aggression outlets. There are 6 classes based upon the extent to which; (1) outdoor skills are required, (2) the natural environment has been modified to facilitate use and, (3) comfort and/or convenience facilities are provided.
Recreational Experience Quality
The degree of excellence, value, or worth of any form of recreational experience determined through personal judgments and preferences. Consensus and individual variation form expectations that, depending upon the extent to which they are achieved, specify the degrees of quality judgments. Consensus may provide relative value scales or standards that may offer some universal basis for quality judgments. Individual variation, as shown through personal judgments and preferences, is the deviation from consensus as a consequence of individual intelligence and qualities of personality as influenced by education, experience, perception, and socialization and modified by external influences such as area, design facilities, activities, human relations, impacts, finances, health and safety, weather, travel, and time.
Recreational Quality
The degree to which a recreational experience or area normally contributes to the physical and psychic well being of recreationists. Thus, a thoroughly worn area usually offers lower recreational quality than areas presenting a fresh and natural scene. Individual tastes differ, and an experience is of high quality only to people for whom it provides a large measure of enjoyment or well being.
Recreational River Area
Those rivers or sections of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.
The process of repeating an operation or group of operations, usually with the result of each repetition being in some way dependent upon the result of the preceding repetition, e.g., planning itself and ecological succession within a rotation.
Reference Landscapes
Terrestrial and aquatic areas with high ecosystem integrity and within the historical range of variability and of sufficient size, where relevant disturbance and ecological processes occur and are generally unaffected by human activities.
Reduced Service Level
A level of recreation operation, administration, and maintenance under which resources are protected. Routine maintenance is accomplished, but heavy maintenance deferred. Mowing and swimming supervision are minimal. Interpretive programs may not be provided. Personnel may be available to the public, at least weekly.
Reducer Organism
See Decomposer.
Natural or artificial restocking or reestablishing an area with forest trees (natural regeneration as well as tree planting and seeding); renewing forest cover by planting seedlings, transplants, tree seeds, or, (for certain species) cuttings.
Reforestation Backlog
Areas that need to have trees reestablished. Planting, seeding, or preparing the site for natural regeneration can do this.
All of the solid waste from a coal mine, including tailings and slurry. Other synonyms are dirt, gob, shale, and slate.
Regeneration (Reproduction)
(1) Renewing a forest after harvest whether by natural or artificial means including natural reproduction by self-sown seed, by vegetative means such as coppicing, or by planting or direct seeding. (2) The young tree crop itself, i.e., seedlings and saplings.
Regeneration Cut
Removing trees with the intention of establishing a new forest stand. It may be a clearcut, seed tree cut, shelterwood cut, or selection cut.
Regeneration Cutting
(1) Any removal of trees intended to assist regeneration already present or to make regeneration possible. "Regeneration cutting" applies generally to the logging stands of rotation age or greater (virgin stands and to all cutting in cutover stands where the overwood components of the stand are over rotation age), and stands below rotation age which cannot economically be held any longer because of poor stocking, health, thrift, quality, or composition. (2) The final cut made in a stand with the intent to create a new stand.
A defined portion of the Earth's surface distinguished by certain natural features, climatic conditions, a special fauna or flora of a definite extent or character. An area with unity and different from adjacent regions.
Region, Morphogenetic (Formkreis)
A region with distinguishing landscape characteristics which are the result of particular dominant geomorphic processes themselves with origins in a set of climatic conditions.
Region, Morphological
Land units with a high degree of homogeneity in all their morphological (i.e., land surface form) features. Areas possessing a uniformity of land surface forms without any implied, underlying speculation as to the processes responsible for those forms.
Region, Natural
A part of the Earth's surface with a comparatively high degree of uniformity of structural and climatic features within it. "Natural regions" show mutual adjustment of drainage and landforms, but also well-marked zones of climate, vegetation, and even human distributions that characterize such forms when situated in similar climatic areas. A natural region should have a certain unity of configuration, climate, and vegetation. The basis of the regional division is to be found in nature as a whole, including people, in contrast to a division based on a single element, as in the case of "climatic regions," "agricultural regions" etc. The term "natural region" has been used to cover two distinct types of unit-areas of the earth's surface: (1) those which are marked out as possessing certain common physical characteristics -- e.g., a certain kind of structure and surface relief, or a particular kind of climate; and (2) those regions which possess a unity based upon any significant geographical characteristics whether physical, biological or human, or any combination of these, as contrasted with areas marked out by boundaries imposed, frequently for political or administrative purposes, without reference to any geographical unity of the areas.
Region, Physiographic (Geomorphic Province, Geomorphic Region, Physiographic Province)
A region having a particular pattern of relief features and climate or land forms that differs significantly from that of adjacent regions.
Regional Climate (Macroclimate)
The general large-scale climate of a large area or country, as distinguished from the meso-climate and micro-climate.
Regional Economic Development
One of the four "required accounts" for categorizing, displaying, or "accounting" the beneficial and adverse effects of each alternative plan formulation for water and related land resources planning specified in the U.S. Water Resources Council's Principles and Standards and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Procedures" for adhering to them.
Regional Plan
The plan for a region (i.e., an area larger than a single city or county unit and whose boundaries have typically been Designated according to some physiographic, biological, political, administrative, economic, demographic or other criteria).
Regional Planning
The planning discipline concerned with any area larger than a single city. Regional planning is a discipline, primarily oriented to the future, which seeks to relate social purposes and resource use and development in any large area.
The layer or mantle of loose, non-cohesive, or cohesive rock material, of whatever origin, that nearly everywhere forms the surface of the land and rests on bedrock. It is comprised of rock waste of all sorts; volcanic ash; glacial drift, alluvium; wind-blown deposits; and accumulations of vegetation, such as peat; and soil.
A statistical method for studying and expressing the change in one variable associated with and dependent upon changes in another related variable or group of variables. A line that shows the relationships between two variables.
Forest land managed for timber production under sustained yield principles.
Regulated Acres
Commercial forest land organized for sustained yield production of wood products.
Regulated Forest
A forest that has reached a level where the cut equals the growth. Barring unforeseen disasters, a regulated forest will produce a continuous even flow of products forever, if each stand is harvested when it becomes mature and is replaced by a new stand immediately thereafter.
Regulated Harvest
The volume scheduled in calculations of the allowable sale quantity which is harvested from suitable commercial forest land.
(1) The artificial manipulation of streamflow; (2) a rule established to make laws more precise and to guide actions.
(1) Implies that the land will be returned to a form and productivity in conformity with a prior land use plan, including a stable ecological state that does not contribute substantially to environmental deterioration and is consistent with surrounding aesthetic values. (2) The process of returning a disturbed site to its original ecological slate.
Rehabilitation Potential
The probability of returning land that has been surface-mined to a use which is compatible with the existing environment.
Release Cutting
Freeing a tree or group of trees, from competition by cutting, or otherwise eliminating growth that is overtopping or closely surrounding them. Three operations come: (1) Treatments to free desired growing stock trees from over-story vegetation; principally, scrub trees, brush, and vines that inhibit their growth or desirable development. (2) Treatments to prevent development of brush and young trees that threaten to overtop desired growing stock trees; or (3) Removal of grass, weeds, or brush from around individual seedlings or small trees to release them from competition for soil moisture, shade, or smothering as under matted grass or weeds.
Relic (Relict)
Something that is left behind after decay, disintegration, or disappearance (e.g., a structure, a culture, etc.). A community, fragments of presently existing flora on areas with a historical record of no disturbance and the community is assumed to be in near virgin condition. A community or species which, through the operation of some compensating or protective environmental features has survived some major change (e.g., climatic, land use) that has altered the general vegetation and ecology of the surrounding territory.
The difference in elevation between the high and low points of a land surface or the inequalities of a land surface, taken collectively.
Remote Sensing
Any data or information acquisition technique which utilizes airborne techniques and/or equipment to determine the characteristics of an area. Aerial photos are a common form of remote sensing product, but Landsat, side-scanning radar (SLAR) and other pictorial and nonpictorial forms of data collections are also involved in some remote sensing techniques.
Removal Cut
Cutting of the trees left as a source of seed for natural regeneration after the new stand is established. See Shelterwood Cut.
Removal Regeneration Cutting
Cutting a stand which has an advanced manageable understory of 1-20 year old age class reproduction. The seed-tree cutting is bypassed and all the overstory competition is removed in one cutting. The stand is reduced to the single age class for future management.
Renewable Resource
Resources, the supply of which becomes available for use at different intervals in time. The use of present supply flows does not diminish future flows and it is possible to maintain use indefinitely provided the use rate does not exceed flow rate. Many renewable resources can be stored -- such as water in a reservoir or mature timber in a stand and such stores can be treated as a stock (i.e., exhaustible) resource. The availability of a flow for replenishing the stock, however, differentiates such stores from truly "nonrenewable resources." There are two broad classes of "renewable resources" one in which human resource use activities do not significantly alter future flows (e.g., wind, tidal and solar energy) and a second class where human activities may increase or decrease future flows (e.g., timber, wildlife, and soil productivity).
Renewable Resources Assessment
An appraisal of the Nation's renewable resources that recognizes their vital importance and the necessity for long-term planning and associated program development. The Assessment meets the requirements of Section 3 of the Forest and Rangelands Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA) of l974 and includes analyses of present and anticipated uses, demands, and supplies of the renewable resources; a description of Forest Service programs and responsibilities; and a discussion of policy considerations, laws, and regulations.
Renewable Resources Program
The program for managing and administering the National Forest System, for Research and Development, for Cooperative State and Private Forest Service programs, and for conducting other Forest Service activities developed in accordance with the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974.
Renewable Resource Lands
Areas where uncontrolled or incompatible development which results in the loss or reduction of continued long range productivity could endanger future water, food, and fiber requirements of more than local concern. These lands include watershed lands, aquifers and aquifer recharge areas, significant agricultural and grazing lands, and forest lands.
A place of storage or safekeeping; an archive, e.g., water data in a data bank.
Research Natural Area
Land areas classified by order of the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service containing natural plant communities that have been little modified by people, and are preserved, protected, and studied as a representative sample of an ecological community primarily for scientific and educational purposes.These are physical and biological units in as near natural condition as possible, exemplifying typical or unique vegetation and associated biotic, soil, geologic and aquatic features. Commercial use is not allowed and public use is discouraged.
Reservation and Other Tribal Lands
All lands within the exterior boundaries of any Indian reservation, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and including rights-of-way, and all lands held in trust for or supervised by any Indian tribe. The first part of this definition eliminates pockets of free patented land inside Indian reservations that might otherwise be subject to laws different from their surroundings. Similarly, the second part of the definition, which includes "all lands held in trust or supervised by any Indian tribe," is intended to cover lands which are Indian country for all practical purposes but which do not enjoy reservation status. The Indian tribal land use planning processes and programs would be largely meaningless if the tribes could not control key tracts within their reservations which they did not own or lands outside a reservation which they owned or for which they possessed administrative responsibility.
Reserved Mineral Rights
A vendor has retained (reserved) specified mineral rights in the deed to the United States, subject to rules and regulations made a part of the deed.
A pond, lake, or basin, either natural or artificial, for the storage, regulation, and control of water.
Reservoir Salvage Act (74 Stat. 220)
The Reservoir Salvage Act of 1960 provides for the recovery and preservation of "historical and archeological data (including relics and specimens)" that might be lost or destroyed as a result of the construction of dams, reservoirs, and attendant facilities and activities.
Residential Density
The average number of families living on one acre of land in a given area. "Gross residential density" is obtained by dividing all land in a defined area used for residences, streets, local schools, local parks and local shopping facilities into the total number of families in an area. "Net residential density" is determined by dividing the total number of families in a defined area by the total acreage of all parcels of land within the area that is used for residential purposes.
Residential Land
Land used primarily for permanent dwellings, such as houses, apartments, and housing developments, including adjacent facilities such as underground and surface utilities, access streets and alleys, servicing structures, appurtenances, and measures.
Residual Value Appraaisal
A timber appraisal that subtracts logging, transportation, and manufacturing costs from the value of finished products to get an estimated stumpage price.
(1) A human-valued commodity or product provided through management of the land. Resources may or may not have any commercial value. They include timber, wildlife, water, minerals, recreation, scenery, aesthetics, and cultural. (2) A source of supply. (3) Anything useful to people directly or that facilitate use and satisfaction of human wants, be it animal, vegetable, mineral, a location, a labor force, etc. Resources vary from commodities such as timber and minerals to amenities as scenery or scenic viewing points. "Resource" is a highly relative concept, the precise definition of which changes depending upon the planning agent and the planning purpose. For example, garbage is not a "resource" to those attempting to get rid of their wastes but it is a "resource" to those who are attempting to recover recyclable materials from it, provided existing regulations and separation technology permit them to do this economically.
Resource Allocation
Resource Allocation - The decisions and actions to apportion and distribute available resources to various activities, people, or programs in such a way that total effectiveness is likely to be increased or maintained. Difficult allocation decisions are necessary when there are limitations (constraints) on either the amount of resources available or on the way on which these may be expended, especially when each separate activity cannot have resources sufficient for maximally effective performance.
Resource Analysis Unit (RAU)
Broad homogeneous soil-vegetation groupings of the ecological land units. The RAU may be comprised of a single ELU or a group of ELU's which have been determined by analysis to have similar inventory characteristics and which will react in a similar manner to land management activities at the intensity of analysis being undertaken.
Resource Conservation Planning
SCS (now NRCS) technical planning assistance to individuals, groups and representatives of units of government concerning the opportunities and problems involved with the use, development, and conservation of soil and water resources. Such technical assistance may range from providing aid during the entire planning process (as with individuals developing conservation plans for units of land) to helping develop resource inventories and interpretations and assisting in their evaluations, analysis and use. It also includes assisting representatives of units of government develop and carry out resource plans for communities, areas, or regions.
Resource Management Prescriptions
Written direction for the resource management practices selected and scheduled for application on a specific area to attain goals and objectives.
Resource Management System (RMS)
A combination of interrelated conservation, practices and management techniques used to maintain or improve soil, water, plant and related resources. The system is Designated according to primary use.
Resource Plan
A plan prepared by a unit(s) of government and used as a guide for public policy and action on the use, treatment, and management of soil and water resources. Resource plans are generally parts of comprehensive, regional, or functional plans.
Resources Planning Act
See Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act.
Response Form
Federal Executive Branch usage. A form not needing prior approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is provided by a government agency to allow interested members of the public to comment on an agency action or publication. To qualify as a "response form" the form must be distributed only to those members of the public who have requested informational material or are directly affected by possible management actions. The form may include (A) name, address, and organizational affiliation of respondent, (B) a brief description distinguishing alternative actions and space where the respondent may express comments on the alternatives, and (C) chapter heading listed for respondent comments to aid in review. It may not contain any other questions relative to the nature or attitudes of the respondent. Any form eliciting pubic comment that does not meet all of these criteria is a questionnaire and when issued by an office of the federal executive branch to ten or more people must have prior approval of OMB.
Response Unit
See Homogeneous Response Unit and Ecological Land Unit.
Responsible Line Officer
The agency or owner employee who has the authority to select and/or carry out a specific planning action.
Responsible Official
The Forest Service line officer with the authority and responsibility to oversee the planning process and to approve plans, plan amendments, and plan revisions (36 CFR 219.16). For the purposed of this rule, a responsible official may include more than one line officer. See "Reviewing Officer" below
Rest-rotation Grazing
See Grazing, Rest Rotation.
The process of restoring site conditions as they were before a land disturbance.
(1) A visual quality objective which in general means human activities are not evident to the casual forest visitor. (2) The amount of precipitation on a drainage area that does not escape as runoff. It is the difference between total precipitation and total runoff.
Returns to the Treasury
The monies from activities (timber sales, recreation fees, and special use permit fees). These are considered Federal Government income.
Reestablishing and developing a plant cover. This may take place naturally through the reproductive processes of the existing flora or artificially through the direct action of people, e.g., afforestation, range reseeding.
Revenue-Cost Analysis
A method of comparing alternatives by analyzing the monetary income that each alternative would generate in relation to its cost.
Reviewing Officer
The supervisor of the Responsible Official. The Reviewing Officer responds to objections made to a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision prior to approval (36 CFR 219.16).
A string of characters, such as a title, positioned within a column in such a way that its last character falls on the right most part of the column.
Right-of-way (ROW)
Strictly, it is the right of passage over another person's ground. In its legal and generally accepted meaning, in reference to a roadway, it is a mere easement in the lands of others, obtained by lawful condemnation for public use or by purchase. It is unusual to use the term to apply to an absolute purchase of the fee simple ownership of land to be used for a roadway or other kind of way. "Right-of-way" has two-fold significance being sometimes used to mean the mere intangible right to cross, and often used to otherwise indicate that strip of land upon which a road, powerline, etc. is built.
Public or National Forest System lands authorized to be used or occupied pursuant to a ROW grant or special use authorization.
Right of Eminent Domain
The taking of property for a necessary public use, with reasonable compensation being made to the property owner.
Land adjacent to perennial streams, lakes, and reservoirs and including other well developed riparian vegetation (primarily intermediate streams). This land is specifically delineated by the transition between the aquatic ecosystem and the adjacent terrestrial ecosystem and defined by soil characteristics and distinctive vegetation communities that require free and unbound water. Areas include stream channels, lakes, wetlands, and adjacent floodplains and riparian ecosystems. They include all areas within a horizontal distance of 100 feet from the edge of perennial streams or other water bodies.
Riparian Dependent Resource
Any resource that is dependent on a riparian area (even for a short time) for its existence.
Riparian Ecosystems
The transition between the aquatic ecosystem and the adjacent terrestrial ecosystem. It is identified by the presence of very poorly drained soils (alluvial soils inundated by select floods and wetland soils).
Riparian Rights
The rights of owners of lands on the banks of watercourses or bodies, relating to the water, its use, ownership of soil under the stream, shoreline accretions, etc. These rights vary with state law. Riparian rights cease at the water's edge and do not interfere with use of the water area by others offshore.
Riparian Type
A systematic method of characterizing streams by evaluating form, bottom type, gradient, side slopes, flood plain, and channel condition.
Material such as rock, logs, and concrete which is placed along a watercourse to stabilize the banks.
Uncertainty in a situation is characterized as risk if it is possible to describe all possible outcomes and to assign meaningful, objective, numerical, probability weights to each one. For example, an action might lead to this risky outcome: a reward of $10 if a "fair" coin comes up heads, and a loss of $5 if it comes up tails. Under the Bayesian school of thought the distinction between "risk" and uncertainty is not useful and in fact may not exist. In any practical analysis all uncertain situations are as signed probability distributions, either explicitly or implicitly by the selection of the analysis method. Whether or not the true probability distribution is known, a probability distribution is selected for analysis purposes based on experience, intuitive feelings, knowledge, and the lack of knowledge. Typically since little can be proven, risk treats failure, i.e., the possibility of loss, injury, disadvantages, or destruction.
Other observers combine concepts, defining it as a combination of the likelihood that a negative outcome will occur and the severity or magnitude of the subsequent negative consequences.
Risk, Acceptable
The level of risk below which no specific action by local government is deemed necessary, other than making the risk known.
Risk, Avoidable
A risk not necessary to be taken because the individual or public goals can be achieved at the same or less total "cost" by other means without taking the risk.
Risk Cutting
Cutting to remove trees that are likely to die before the next periodic cut.
Risk, Unacceptable
The level of risk above which specific action by a manager or government is deemed necessary to protect life, property, and achievement of objectives.
River Basin Plan (Regional Plan)
One of the "levels of planning" for water and related land resources planning by Federal agencies whose activities involve planning and development of water resources as contained in the Principles and Standards of the U.S. Water Resources Council. A plan for development of water and related land resources to make the best use of such resources to meet the basin needs and make the greatest long-term contribution to the economic growth and social well being of the people of the basin and the nation. "Regional" or "river basin plans" are reconnaissance-level evaluations of water and land resources for selected areas and are performed under planning authorities of Public Law 83-566 and Public Law 87-639. They are directed toward resolving the complex problems identified by framework studies and assessments or other Federal-state investigations and terminate in a recommended plan or disclosure of possible alternative plans. They may vary widely in scope and detail; will consider present and long-range problems with a focus on middle term (15 to 25 years) needs and desires; and will involve interested Federal, state, and local entities. Regional or river basin plans are concerned with a broad array of component needs of objectives. Alternate plans will consider effects on many components of objectives. Scheduling for implementation of the recommended plan or alternative plans will be presented to indicate the relationship to needs and the urgency or priority associated with meeting the needs.
River Basin
See Watershed.
Includes all wetlands and deepwater habitats contained within a channel. A channel is an open conduit either naturally or artificially created which periodically or continuously contains moving water. It is bounded on the landward side by upland, by the channel bank, or by wetland dominated by trees, shrubs, persistent and emergents. It terminates at the upstream end where tributary streams originate and at the downstream end where the channel enters a lake.
A motor vehicle travelway; a linear land feature over which a regular motor vehicle may be taken. It is usually specified to be greater than 50 inches wide and often with two tracks; such a route surveyed and mapped for historical, current, or prescriptive use. Agencies might specify a travelway with 12-foot wide lanes and 2-foot wide shoulders. For the purposes of wilderness inventory, "roadless" (see below) means absence of roads which have been improved and maintained by mechanical means to insure relatively regular and continuous use. A way maintained solely by the passage of vehicles does not constitute a road.
Road Closed
Any road that has an operative closure device, such as a gate, a ditch, or earthen mound.
Road Density
The measure of the degree to which the length of road miles occupies a given land area, i.e., miles/acre or km/ha.
Road Influence
The effect a road has on elk distribution, behavior, and vulnerability to hunters. A zone of influence often associated with calculations involving habitat effectiveness.
Roadless Area
Undeveloped areas that meet minimum criteria for wilderness consideration under the Wilderness Act - Areas typically exceeding 5,000 acres that were inventoried during the Forest Service's formal Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE II) process, and remain in a roadless condition through forest planning decisions. For roadless areas in the eastern United States, see FSH 1909.12, Chapter 7.1 lb Designated roadless areas do not overlap with unroaded areas (See definition for unroaded area). Also that area bounded by a road using the edge of the physical change that creates the road or the adjacent edge of right-of-way, other ownership, or water as a boundary
Road Maintenance Levels
Level 1 - Minimum maintenance performed - road is closed with earthen berm. Level 2 - Not maintained for passenger cars - generally closed with a gate. Level 3,4 - Open and maintained for passenger cars - roads are graded. Level 5 - Open and maintained for passenger cars - generally paved.
Road Open
A road that is open to the public. All types of traffic are permitted, but may be restricted when necessary to protect the road from damage or for public safety.
Road Restricted
Any road that has restrictions on the type of use such as size limitations on weight, or vehicle types including restrictions on public use.
Roaded Natural Motorized ROS Class
Areas are predominantly natural appearing environment with moderate evidences of the sights and sounds of people which harmonize with the natural environment. Areas may be of any size. Evidence of other users is prevalent. Conventional motorized use is often provided for. These areas are within 1/2 mile of roads that are better than primitive.
Roadless and Undeveloped Areas
A portion of a National Forest larger than 5000 acres, or smaller than this but contiguous to Designated wilderness or primitive areas, which contains no roads and has been inventoried by the Forest Service for possible inclusion in the wilderness areas system. By management directive these areas were not to be developed until a determination was made on an individual basis whether the area should be considered as a possible wilderness area.
Roads, Types
Permanent Roads - Those system roads constructed for long term or periodic use. The three categories of permanent roads are: Constant Service - All Weather - Roads constructed to permit year-round hauling and travel, except during wet periods when closures may be necessary. These roads normally require surfacing and permanent drainage structures. Intermittent Service - Roads used for short periods of time for a single project and put to bed between use periods. These roads require little or no surfacing. Drainage structures are normally temporary and are removed between use periods. Winter Service - Roads on which use is limited to frozen ground conditions.

Temporary Roads - A nonsystem road constructed for a single project, usually for timber harvest, which has no projected use within 20 years of completion of the project. These roads require little or no surfacing. Drainage structures are temporary and are removed upon completion of the project. The roadway is returned to resource production.

Rock, Igneous
Rocks formed by solidification from a molten or partially molten state, e.g., various types of lava. Igneous rock is often subdivided, for convenience, into "plutonic rocks" (those which were formed by the solidification of molten materials below the ground surface -- e.g., granite) and "volcanic rocks" (those formed by solidification of molten materials which have been extruded onto the ground surface.)
Rock, Metamorphic
Rocks which have been formed in the solid state under the conditions of high pressure, high temperature and the introduction of new chemical substances that, in general occur at great depths within the earth, e.g., slate, marble, and jade.
Rock, Plutonic
See Rock, Igneous.
Rock, Sedimentary
Rocks which have been formed from deposits of sediment, whether from fragments of other rock transported from their sources and deposited by water, e g., sandstone or shale -- or by precipitation from solution or fixation by organisms, e.g., rock salt, gypsum, and limestone.
ROS Class
See Recreation Opportunity Spectrum.
Rotation (Cutting Rotation, Felling Rotation, Cutting Cycle, Cutting Interval)
The planned period of years between initially establishing a stand of timber and the time when it is considered ready for cutting and regeneration.
Rotation Cycle
The planned number of years between the regeneration of a stand and its final cutting at a specified stage of maturity.
Rotational Deferment
A grazing system in which one or more parts of the range are rested during the growing season each year; and rotational use of other segments of the range are not necessarily planned.
Rough Reduction Burns
Controlled ground fires used in pine types to reduce fire hazards caused by excessive flammable vegetation buildup.
Trees that are used without being milled (fence posts, telephone poles, pulpwood, etc.).
The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 with later revisions. This act requires that all renewable resources in the United States be assessed every 10 years and based on the assessment a program be developed every 5 years to guide long range planning of the Forest Service.
RPA National Assessment
A document compiled by the Secretary of Agriculture every 10 years which contains facts and analyses to develop and guide public and private forest and rangeland policies and programs.
RPA National Program
A document compiled by the Secretary of Agriculture every five years which outlines Forest Service programs for National Forest System management, cooperative assistance to States and private landowners, and research. It is the recommended direction for long-range management of renewable resources of National Forest system lands.
RUA (Restricted Use Area)
An area that is closed to specific activities to protect damaged or fragile areas and to give them a chance to recover, and to encourage the dispersal of hikers and campers. RUA's are applied only when and where needed.
(1) The portion of rainfall that is not absorbed by the deep strata and not lost to vegetation or evaporation. It is that which finds its way into streams as surface flow. (2) The total stream discharge of water (quantity or rate), including both surface and sub surface flow, usually expressed in acre feet or in cubic feet per second per square mile of drainage area.
Rural ROS Class
A classification of the recreation opportunity spectrum that characterizes an area on which the sights and sounds of people are prevalent and the landscape has been considerably altered by the human works.
See Recreation Visitor Day.

Other Resources:
[ HOME | Lasting Forests (Introductions) | Units of Lasting Forests | Ranging | Guidance | Forests | Gamma Theory | Wildlife Law Enforcement Systems | Antler Points | Species-Specific Management (SSM) | Wilderness and Ancient Forests | Appendices | Ideas for Development | Disclaimer]
Quick Access to the Contents of

This Web site is maintained by R. H. Giles, Jr.
Last revision January 17, 2000.