The Legacy Resource Management Program (Department of Defense, Legacy Project Number 0742) was part of a larger study initiated in 1991 by the United States Congress to provide an opportunity to enhance the stewardship of the natural and cultural resources on the more than 25 million acres of land under Department of Defense jurisdiction. To achieve this goal, the Department of Defense initially gave high priority to inventorying, protecting, and restoring natural resources. In Alaska, two U.S. Air Force sites on the coastal North Slope of Alaska, Barter Island and Barrow, were characterized to build an inventory of the present biotic communities to compare them to historic communities. Dr. Donald A. (Skip) Walker conducted the vegetation inventory in 1993 and 1994, the results of which are included in a data report by Elias et al. (1996).
During the Legacy vegetation survey, 61 releves (31 at Barter Island, and 30 at Barrow) were subjectively located in 14 plant communities and 4 broad habitat types including: 1) coastal salt marsh vegetation (4 plots), 2) dry coastal beach and sand dune vegetation (3 plots), 3) sedge grass and dwarf shrub mire and fen vegetation (36 plots), and 4) dry and mesic dwarf-shrub and graminoid vegetation on non-acidic substrate (18 plots).
The plots were not permanently marked but were located on aerial photographs. The size of each sample area was estimated after a complete species list was obtained and varied from 14 to 500 square meters. Species and environmental data including subjective site assessments were collected in the field. Soil samples were brought back to the lab for chemical analysis.
The report Elias et al. (1996) also includes data on Holocene and modern insects, and Holocene plant communities (pollen).
Elias, S., S. K. Short, D. A. Walker, and N. A. Auerbach. 1996. Historical biodiversity at Remote Air Force Sites in Alaska. Legacy Resource Management Program Project #0742, Point Barrow and Barter Island Long Range Radar Sites, Alaska. Data Report, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.