Vegetation monitoring is of great importance to land managers. But it’s difficult to accomplish. It’s tedious and time-consuming, requiring personnel trained in ecology and range plant identification. Once the data is collected, it has to be entered into a database, processed further to obtain estimates of biomass or quality, then analyzed. Most often, vegetation data is collected for limited seasons or years, so you only gain an understanding into the current conditions, and nothing about what direction things are headed. Knowing something about the past can provide a great deal of insight into what may happen into the future, but that can only be done if the data exists.