Riparian Forestry


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Presentation developed for a 2004 Woodland Advisor class in Andover MN.

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  • Woodland Advisor Program Eli Sagor, University of Minnesota Extension Service
  • Riparian Forestry

    1. 1. Lakeshore Management and Riparian Forestry Eli Sagor Regional Extension Educator Woodland Advisor Program
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Riparian forest functions </li></ul><ul><li>Tradeoffs in riparian forest management </li></ul><ul><li>Forest management for water quality (case study) </li></ul><ul><li>Minnesota’s Voluntary Forest Management Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    3. 3. Riparian Area: Definition <ul><ul><li>The area of land and water forming a transition from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems along streams, lakes and open water wetlands. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(From MFRC Guidelines, 1999) </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Riparian Forest Functions <ul><li>Filtering surface runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sediment: Roots slow water flow, draw water into soil, filter sediment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pollution: Swamps and bogs filter chemical and biological contaminants </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Riparian Forest Functions <ul><li>Mitigating peak flows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roots slow water flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canopy slows rate of snow melt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plants use water, reducing amount reaching stream </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Riparian Forest Functions <ul><li>Regulating water temperature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shading by forest canopy maintains cool temperatures necessary for many fish species </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Riparian Forest Functions <ul><li>Contribution of organic matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large woody debris (logs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Critical habitat elements: plunge pools, backwaters, eddies, debris dams and individual logs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coarse particulate organic matter (leaves) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Energy </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Riparian Forest Functions: BREAKDOWNS <ul><li>Filtering surface runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of filtering  more sediment and pollution reach water body, harming spawning sites and clogging gills. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Riparian Forest Functions: BREAKDOWNS <ul><li>Mitigating peak flows </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of flow mitigation  peak flows increase and blowout risk increases. Leads to major sediment inputs and flooding. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Riparian Forest Functions: BREAKDOWNS <ul><li>Regulating water temperature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of shading  water temps rise and habitat becomes unsuitable for some species </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Riparian Forest Functions: BREAKDOWNS <ul><li>Contribution of organic matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of organic matter  changes in dissolved Oxygen, loss of critical habitat elements mentioned earlier. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>What causes the breakdowns in riparian forest function? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of riparian forest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive loss of forest cover throughout the watershed, regardless of riparian area condition. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Tradeoffs
    14. 14. Tradeoffs <ul><li>Costs of “good” management in Riparian Areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced volume available for timber harvest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to understand guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to plan Riparian Management Zone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time spent explaining requirements to logger </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Tradeoffs <ul><li>Two questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who benefits from forest practices that preserve water quality? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who pays for it on private land? </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Source: Miles et al . 1995
    17. 18. Forest Management FOR Water Quality
    18. 19. Forest Management FOR Water Quality <ul><li>What??? </li></ul>
    19. 20. Forest Management FOR Water Quality <ul><li>The more diverse a forest is, the less likely that any one disturbance will wipe it all out. </li></ul>
    20. 22. Case Study: Quabbin Reservoir <ul><li>Boston’s water supply </li></ul><ul><li>25,000 acre reservoir and surrounding 56,000 acres of primarily forested watershed land. </li></ul><ul><li>One single objective: KEEP BOSTON’S WATER CLEAN AND SAFE </li></ul>
    21. 23. Case Study: Quabbin Reservoir <ul><li>Varied terrain with steep hillsides, high ridge tops, beaver ponds, swamps and streams. </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly mature hardwood (67%) with some conifer (33%). </li></ul>
    22. 24. Case Study: Quabbin Reservoir <ul><li>Local disturbance regime: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hurricanes are the most common severe natural disturbance </li></ul></ul>
    23. 25. Case Study: Quabbin Reservoir <ul><li>Management approach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain a forest with several different age classes well represented on each site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small-group selection, primarily. </li></ul></ul>
    24. 26. From: Smith et al. 1998
    25. 29. Back to Minnesota… <ul><li>Voluntary Site-Level Forest </li></ul><ul><li>Management Guidelines </li></ul>
    26. 30. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>MFRC Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Management approaches that consider all the values of the forest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial, ecological, social / cultural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of spatial scales </li></ul></ul>
    27. 31. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>How to actually put this into practice on the ground? </li></ul>
    28. 32. Defining Terms <ul><li>Riparian Management Zones </li></ul><ul><li>vs. </li></ul><ul><li>Riparian Areas </li></ul>
    29. 33. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>The guidelines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide specific recommendations for foresters and loggers working in the woods. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the complexity associated with managing for numerous objectives in diverse ecosystems. </li></ul></ul>
    30. 34. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>General Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Forest Roads </li></ul><ul><li>Timber Harvesting </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanical Site Prep </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticide Use </li></ul><ul><li>Timber Stand Improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Fire Management </li></ul><ul><li>Forest Recreation </li></ul><ul><li>Reforestation </li></ul>Binder contains the following sections :
    31. 39. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>The guidelines are entirely voluntary. </li></ul>
    32. 40. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>Example 1: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joe & Verna Pyeweed own 80 acres in Central Minnesota with rolling terrain and a stream running through their property. They own the land for recreational and stewardship purposes, but not really to make money. </li></ul></ul>
    33. 41. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>Example 1, continued: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joe would like to conduct a timber sale to create young aspen stands to promote deer and grouse populations. The best spot to do this is in a relatively low, moist stand near the stream. </li></ul></ul>
    34. 42. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>Example 2: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anders Halverson manages his 240 acres of red pine plantations downstream from Joe and Verna mainly as a source of income. The terrain and soil conditions are similar. </li></ul></ul>
    35. 43. MFRC Guidelines <ul><li>Difference between recommendations for Joe and Anders? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management objectives are different, and the “cost” of a wider RMZ is less for Joe. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines would suggest that Joe retain a wider RMZ. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both would use a wide filter strip. </li></ul></ul>
    36. 46. Looking to the Future
    37. 47. Looking to the Future <ul><li>Forest managers and governments are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of clean water. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clinton’s chief of the Forest Service was an aquatic ecologist. </li></ul></ul>
    38. 48. Looking to the Future <ul><li>More and more eyes will be on forest managers to act as good stewards of the land and water. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forest practices regulations to become less voluntary? </li></ul></ul>
    39. 49. Looking to the Future <ul><li>Forest management will become more complex: more variables to weigh and more people watching. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is good! The most creative foresters are the best ones. </li></ul></ul>
    40. 50. Looking to the Future <ul><li>Increased complexity means we need more educational opportunities for foresters and citizens / landowners. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is good too. Landowners need to understand and take responsibility for the impacts of their decisions. </li></ul></ul>
    41. 51. <ul><li>Questions, or head outside? </li></ul>