Carmen Wagner Presentation 0910

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Carmen Wagner Presentation 0910

  1. 1. Forestry and Watershed Management in Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Basin Carmen Wagner, Forest Hydrologist, WI DNR Photo: Carmen Wagner
  2. 2. Talk • Introduction to Concerns • Past Efforts • Forestry and Watershed Considerations
  3. 3. Photo Credit: Jay Gallagher, DNR
  4. 4. Photo Credit: Jay Gallagher, DNR
  5. 5. Photo Credit: Dennis Pratt, DNR Photo Credit: Mike Miller, DNR
  6. 6. Historic Efforts • 1954 – Red Clay Interagency Committee starts work • 1972 & 1980 – Red Clay Reports • 1998 – Nemadji River Plan • 2000 – Lake Superior LaMP • 2007 – Managing Woodlands on Lake Superior’s Red Clay Plain
  7. 7. Mature forest hydrograph With 50% of the upland aspen forest clearcut, snowmelt peaks become de-synchronized yielding two smaller peak flows Marcell Experimental Forest, northern Minnesota, watershed no. 4
  8. 8. With all of the aspen upland clearcut, snowmelt peakflow is synchronized, occurring 4 days earlier than mature forest conditions, and at twice the peakflow rate. Mature forest hydrograph Marcell Experimental Forest, northern Minnesota, watershed no. 4
  9. 9. 170 150 VLB83 L94 130 Percent change in peak flow 110 FKW99 90 VLB83 Management range for peak flows from basins 70 with less than 60% of their area in open or young forests (<16) 50 30 V86 10 VLB83 -10 Reference to change in peak flow from a mature aspen forest -30 V86 VLB83 -50 -70 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percent of entire basin in open or young-forests (<16)
  10. 10. Effects Are 1st Observed • For flat outwash or lake bed basins (< 3% slopes) they need to be 10 sq. miles before there is enough power in the flowing water to cause excessive in- channel erosion • For steep glacial moraine basins (3-40% hillslopes) they need to be 1 sq. mile
  11. 11. Total Open Lands 0% - 40% 40% - 55% 55% +
  12. 12. Ag / Urban Areas 0% - 40% 40% - 55% 55% +
  13. 13. Young Forests 0% - 40% 40% - 55% 55% +
  14. 14. Agriculture / Urban Area Management Considerations • Landscape-Level – Amount of agriculture and urban areas in watershed • Site-Level – Capture runoff from fields and roads – Break ag drainage systems – Plant trees in old fields
  15. 15. Forestry Considerations • Landscape-Level – Amount of young forest in watershed – Amount of aspen likely to be harvested soon in watershed – Amount of aspen in watershed • Site-Level – Balance future harvests against maturing young forests – Delay or move up harvests – Harvest in larger or smaller blocks – Convert aspen to different cover types
  16. 16. Other Considerations • Wildlife Habitat Objectives – Important grassland habitat? – Important forest interior habitat? – Trout stream and beaver interactions? • Site Characteristics – Soils, slopes, drainage patterns – Current vegetation – Current land use
  17. 17. Other Considerations • Landowner Objectives – Management goals • Income • Wildlife habitat • Scenic beauty – Hands-on or hands-off management style • Timeframe – Short-term or long-term solution? – Immediate or gradual impact?
  18. 18. Bark River Watershed • Nearly 20,650 acres in size • Includes Bark River and three branches of Lost Creek • 70% of watershed in private ownership • 20% in county ownership • 5% in state ownership
  19. 19. Ownership
  20. 20. Land Cover • 40% Mixed broad-leaved deciduous • 20% Aspen • 14% Mixed deciduous and coniferous • 12% Grassland • 12% Non-forested wetlands
  21. 21. Ecological Subsection • Superior – Ashland Clay Plain – Generally heavy red clay soils – Flat to gently rolling topography – Smaller streams draining to Lake Superior have cut steep-sided channels – Clay soils are underlain by sandier soils
  22. 22. Water Resources • Bark River – Medium-sized spring-fed trout stream – Classified as an Outstanding Resource Water (ORW) • Lost Creek 1 & 2 – Small spring-fed trout streams – Shallow and sandy • Lost Creek 3 – Warm water stream with minnows
  23. 23. Bark River Watershed • 19% total open lands – 12% young forests – 8% ag/urban areas • Contains 6 hydrologic units, or smaller discrete watersheds, at which open land impacts are first observable
  24. 24. Total Open Land
  25. 25. Total Ag / Urban Areas
  26. 26. Total Young Forests 6 1 2 4 5 3
  27. 27. Open Land Distribution 100 95 90 Ag/Urban 85 80 Young Forests 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bark R
  28. 28. Location of Open Lands
  29. 29. Landscape-Level • HUs at 20% or less open lands • Contain a balanced mix of mature forests, young forests, and ag lands, providing a variety of benefits • Room to increase open land acreage
  30. 30. Landscape-Level • Maintenance of aspen provides important early successional wildlife habitat • Beaver may be a concern on trout streams • Most aspen currently along stream channels • Fishery goals, rather than watershed goals, may lead to aspen conversion along streams
  31. 31. Landscape-Level • Ag and urban areas are smaller percentage of watershed – 8% of entire watershed – 5% - 12% of HUs • Grasslands are most common ag feature and can provide important wildlife habitat • HU 1 drains primarily to Lake Superior and watershed connection not as strong
  32. 32. Site-Level • Bayfield County Forest • 227 acre stand of 50-year old aspen – 150 acres in HU 3 – 75 acres in HU 4 • Lost Creek is a warm water stream
  33. 33. Site-Level • Harvest, with no maturation of young forests, would result in – HU 3 from 20.2% to 23% open lands – HU 4 from 19.8% to 21.5% open lands • Bankfull flows should remain at historic levels • Beaver impacts limited on warm water stream
  34. 34. Site-Level in Troutmere- Marengo Watershed • 30 acre field • Unnamed tributary to Marengo River flows through property • In HU 6 – 0% young forests – 77.7% agricultural lands
  35. 35. Site-Level • Landowner could: – Break ag drainage system – Plant trees in field • In 15 years, total open lands would be reduced from 77.7% to 74.3% • Over 200 acres of tree planting needed in HU to reduce total open lands to less than 55%
  36. 36. Other Components of Project • Woodland Owner Survey in 2009 – Landowners with at least 10 acres of woodland that are not participating in MFL Program – Sent out 981 surveys and had a response rate of 49%
  37. 37. Other Components of Project • Woodland Owner Survey in 2009 – 88% of landowners did not have a management plan – 1% participated in some landowner assistance program – Over 80% thought water quality in Lake Superior Basin was okay or excellent for scenic beauty, swimming, and catching fish – Over 65% did not perceive any pollutants as moderate or severe problems
  38. 38. Other Components of Project • Landowner Workshops in Feb – April 2010 – Series of 6 sessions in 3 locations – Attended by over 100 landowners – 86% interested in implementing management practices at conclusion of workshops – 43% intend to develop management plans (91% did not have plans at start of workshops)
  39. 39. Other Components of Project • Regional analysis and compendium of reports and research completed in Basin • Management considerations report highlighting 12 watersheds as examples
  40. 40. Other Components of Project • Regional analysis and compendium of reports and research completed in Basin • Management considerations report highlighting 12 watersheds as examples • Report discussing management options and benefits of ecosystems services in area
  41. 41. Goals of Project • Educate landowners on links between land management and water quality in basin • Provide resources to land managers to prioritize and focus efforts in times of limited budgeting and staffing • Describe ecosystem services and benefits in Basin
  42. 42. Questions?

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