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Wcc intro_Sheela Johnson

Watershed conditions classification framework, 6 steps adaptive management process

Wcc intro_Sheela Johnson

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Introduction to the Watershed Condition Framework (WCF)
The 6-Step Adaptive Management Process
Sheela Johnson
Natural Resource Specialist, U.S. Forest Service
Watershed Condition Classification Workshop
Polyana, Ukraine
July 23-27, 2018
1. Improve and protect the
forest
2. Secure favorable
conditions of water flows
3. Provide a continuous
supply of timber
The Organic Act (1897)
Background / History
Connecting Healthy Forests and Healthy Water
The Weeks Act (1911):
• Authorized purchase of lands by U.S.
government to create National Forests
in the Eastern United States after years
of impact.
• Forested or cut over lands “within the
watershed of navigable streams”
• Purposes were regulation of flow and
timber supply
The Watershed Condition Framework (WCF)
What is the Watershed Condition Framework?
STEP 1
Classify Watershed
Condition
STEP 2
Prioritize Watersheds
for Restoration
STEP 3
Develop Watershed
Action Plans
STEP 4
Implement Integrated
Projects
STEP 5
Track Restoration
Accomplishments
STEP 6
Monitor and
Verification
Watershed Condition Framework
Definitions
• Watershed Condition - the state of the physical and
biological characteristics and processes within a
watershed that affect the hydrologic and soil
functions supporting aquatic ecosystems.
• Watershed Condition Classification - the process of
describing watershed condition in terms of discrete
categories (or classes) that reflect the level of
watershed health or integrity.

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Wcc intro_Sheela Johnson

  • 1. Introduction to the Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) The 6-Step Adaptive Management Process Sheela Johnson Natural Resource Specialist, U.S. Forest Service Watershed Condition Classification Workshop Polyana, Ukraine July 23-27, 2018
  • 2. 1. Improve and protect the forest 2. Secure favorable conditions of water flows 3. Provide a continuous supply of timber The Organic Act (1897) Background / History
  • 3. Connecting Healthy Forests and Healthy Water The Weeks Act (1911): • Authorized purchase of lands by U.S. government to create National Forests in the Eastern United States after years of impact. • Forested or cut over lands “within the watershed of navigable streams” • Purposes were regulation of flow and timber supply
  • 4. The Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) What is the Watershed Condition Framework?
  • 5. STEP 1 Classify Watershed Condition STEP 2 Prioritize Watersheds for Restoration STEP 3 Develop Watershed Action Plans STEP 4 Implement Integrated Projects STEP 5 Track Restoration Accomplishments STEP 6 Monitor and Verification Watershed Condition Framework
  • 6. Definitions • Watershed Condition - the state of the physical and biological characteristics and processes within a watershed that affect the hydrologic and soil functions supporting aquatic ecosystems. • Watershed Condition Classification - the process of describing watershed condition in terms of discrete categories (or classes) that reflect the level of watershed health or integrity.
  • 8. Technical Guide For Watershed Classification Analysis Coarse-Scale GIS-Based Criteria/Guidelines Condition Classes 1 - Properly Functioning 2 - Functioning At Risk 3 – Impaired Function Step A Classify Watershed Condition
  • 9. Technical Guide For Watershed Classification 1 - Properly Functioning Exhibit high geomorphic, hydrologic, and biotic integrity relative to their natural potential condition. 2 - Functioning At Risk Exhibit moderate geomorphic, hydrologic, and biotic integrity relative to their natural potential condition. 3 – Impaired Function Exhibit low geomorphic, hydrologic, and biotic integrity relative to their natural potential condition. More discussion, see Watershed Classification Guide, p. 4. Step A Classify Watershed Condition Condition Classes
  • 10. Watershed Condition Class (WCC) • Class 1 = Functioning Properly • Class 2 = Functioning at Risk • Class 3 = Impaired Function • Focus is on National Forest lands • Unit of analysis is the subwatershed: 10,000 – 40,000 ac area • Each National Forest divided into many subwatersheds (example: 72 on White Mountain) • Management and communication tool…not a scientific/statistical model
  • 12. Basic Watershed Model Aquatic Biologic Processes Aquatic Physical Processes Terrestrial Physical Processes Terrestrial Biologic Processes Aquatic Biologic Indicators Aquatic Physical Indicators Terrestrial Physical Indicators Terrestrial Biologic Indicators Aquatic Indicators Terrestrial Indicators Terrestrial Processes Aquatic Processes Watershed Condition (WCC) Evaluated Based on Process Groups have 12 IndicatorsSoil Condition Forest Cover Aquatic Biota Riparian Vegetation Range & Open Areas Terrestrial NNIS Forest Health Water Quality Water Quantity Aquatic Habitat Fire Regime Road & Trail Network Aquatic Habitat Indicator Attributes • Habitat Fragmentation • Large Woody Material • Channel Shape/Function Forest Health Indicator Attributes • Insects and Disease • Ozone Each Indicator has Attributes Forest Specialists: Score Attributes According to Criteria/Guidelines 1 2 2 3 1
  • 13. Aquatic Biologic Indicators Terrestrial Biologic Indicators Aquatic Physical Indicators Terrestrial Physical Indicators Terrestrial Processes Aquatic Processes Watershed Condition (WCC) Soil Condition Forest Cover Aquatic Biota Riparian Vegetation Range & Open Areas Terrestrial NNIS Forest Health Water Quality Water Quantity Aquatic Habitat Fire Regime Road & Trail Network Aquatic Indicators Terrestrial Indicators Evaluated Based on Forest Specialists: Score Attributes According to Criteria/Guidelines WCC Score WCC Score = Weighted Average Indicator Scores Basic Watershed Model Indicator Scores = Average Attribute Scores
  • 14. STEP 1 Classify Watershed Condition STEP 2 Prioritize Watersheds for Restoration STEP 3 Develop Watershed Action Plans STEP 4 Implement Integrated Projects STEP 5 Track Restoration Accomplishments STEP 6 Monitor and Verification Watershed Condition Framework
  • 17. 1. Water Quality 1. Impaired Waters (303d Listed) • Thresholds for impaired waters in watershed 2. Water Quality (No 303d listed waterbodies) • Mines • Sediment, nutrients, chemical pollution, consumption advisories, groundwater-related issues • Atmospheric deposition
  • 18. 2. Water Quantity Flow Characteristics Departure from natural hydrographs primarily due to dams or diversions
  • 19. 3. Aquatic Habitat 1. Habitat Fragmentation (including AOP) 2. Large Woody Debris (LWD) 3. Channel Shape and Function Before After
  • 20. 4. Aquatic Biota 1. Expected Aquatic Life Form Presence 2. Expected Native Species Presence 3. Presence of Exotic and/or Aquatic Invasive Species
  • 21. 5. Riparian/Wetland Vegetation Riparian Vegetation Condition • Native vegetation in properly functioning condition • Structure • Cover • Composition
  • 22. 6. Roads & Trails 1. Open Road Density (km / square km) 2. Road and Trail Maintenance – Best Management Practices 3. Riparian Roads / Trails 4. Mass Wasting
  • 23. 7. Soil Condition 1. Soil Productivity 2. Soil Erosion 3. Soil Contamination
  • 24. 8. Fire Effects and Regime Fire Regime Condition – FRCC (PNV) >>> OR <<< Wildfire Effects – Extent of Damage
  • 25. 9. Forest Cover Forest Cover • Presence / absence of forest cover • Cutover, denuded, or deforested land
  • 26. 10. Rangeland Vegetation Rangeland Vegetation Condition • Native / desirable non-native plant composition Additional Guidance: • Use guidance and definitions found in Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health (Pellant et al. 2005) to assist with this evaluation
  • 27. 11. Terrestrial Invasive Species Terrestrial Invasive Species Condition • Few (<10%), or no, populations of terrestrial invasive species infest the watershed • Populations of terrestrial invasive species are established within (10%-25%) the watershed • Populations of terrestrial invasive species infest significant portions (>25%) of the watershed
  • 28. 12. Forest Health 1. Insects & Disease 2. Ozone damage