Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM)
The Rapid Assessment Methodology (RAM) provides councils with a tool to capture current information on roadside reserve environmental characteristics and assign conservation values to assist in their management. The development of the RAM was a joint project between LGNSW and Local Land Services (LLS), funded by the NSW Environmental Trust through their linear reserves program.
The RAM enables land managers to assess the conservation value of many sites in a relatively short time frame and to collate and compare them with other sites. It provides a simple approach to assess and capture environmental data, based on: conservation status, landscape context and vegetation condition. Each site is assigned an overall conservation value of high, medium or low. Councils use this information to prioritise and manage their roadside reserves.
The Rapid Assessment Methodology Guide steps councils through the process of undertaking an assessment of their roadside reserves. The conservation value data captured by councils through the CRR project is available on SEED.
In addition, two RAM Apps have been developed to assist councils and LLS staff to undertake their linear reserve assessments, the EcoRoadside App and the Esri Collector for ArcGIS App. The Apps provide an in-field tool to collect data in an electronic format, bypassing the need for using field sheets and therefore the possibility for transcription errors.
The EcoRoadside App was developed for councils by EcoServer. The App provides a visual guide with prompts and information to assist councils in filling out the RAM form. Photos and additional information can be recorded, including current and proposed management requirements. The final conservation value score is calculated on site enabling a ‘live’ in-field check. Contact LGNSW for more information and to set up a user account.
Instructional videos and guidelines are available.