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Watershed Condition Frameworks by Angela Coleman


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Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition; Prince of Wales Project Planning Workshop

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Watershed Condition Frameworks by Angela Coleman

  1. 1. Watershed Condition FrameworksA framework to assess watersheds and identify and prioritize watershed scale restorations on the Tongass National Forest
  2. 2.  Gather existing information on Watershed Condition (scientific and local) What are our gaps? Social Factors & Local Concerns? Develop watershed assessments to identify projects that will reach our desired future condition Complete project monitoring & adaptive managementWhat are Prince of Waleswatershed needs??
  3. 3. Watershed condition is the state of thephysical and biological characteristics andprocesses within a watershed that affecthydrologic and soil functions effectingaquatic ecosystems. Watershed conditionreflects a range of variability from naturalpristine (functioning properly) to degraded(severely altered state or impaired).Watershed Condition
  4. 4.  Terrestrial, riparian, aquatic ecosystems that capture, store, and release water, sediment, wood, and nutrients within their natural range of variability for these processes Create and sustain functional terrestrial, riparian, aquatic and wetland habitats that are capable of supporting diverse populations of native aquatic and riparian- dependent speciesWatersheds that arefunctioning properly have:
  5. 5. Watersheds that arefunctioning properly: Provide for high biotic integrity, which includes habitats that support adaptive animal and plant communities that reflect natural processes. Are resilient and recover rapidly from natural and human disturbances. Exhibit a high degree of connectivity longitudinally along the stream, laterally across the floodplain and valley bottom, and vertically between surface and subsurface flows. Provide important ecosystem services, such as high-water quality, the recharge of streams and aquifers, the maintenance of riparian communities, and the moderation of climate variability change. Maintain long-term soil productivity
  6. 6.  National Watershed Condition Classification Landscape Assessments Watershed Analyses (Stream Surveys, Tier II, III, IV) and Proper Functioning Condition Assessments Watershed Restoration Plans Project Recommendations, Prescriptions, designs and Cost Estimates NEPA & Implementation MonitoringTypes of AssessmentsResources the FS hasgenerated on POW:
  7. 7. Watershed Condition Classification Class 1 watersheds exhibit high geomorphic, hydrologic, and biotic integrity relative to their natural potential condition. Class 2 watersheds exhibit moderate geomorphic, hydrologic, and biotic integrity relative to their natural potential condition. Class 3 watersheds exhibit low geomorphic, hydrologic and biotic integrity relative to their natural potential condition.
  8. 8.  Class 1 = Functioning Properly Class 2 = Functioning at Risk Class 3 = Impaired FunctionWatershed Condition Classification
  9. 9.  The Tongass has a number of Watersheds, that are ―at risk‖ for maintaining ecological function and aquatic resource values and productivity Watershed health issues mostly revolve around riparian forest condition, road related risks and impacts, and instream habitat condition and risk of decline in productivity.Priority Watershed Program
  10. 10.  National direction continues to stress maintain watersheds that have important ecological values. Tongass has an abundance of watersheds in this category. We can produce a good return on restoration and improvement investments. We are building on strong support from numerous partner organizations -- TNC, TU, SCS— who are helping to leverage substantial grant funding for watershed, riparian and aquatic habitat improvement projects.Priority Watershed Program
  11. 11. PriorityWatershedProgram
  12. 12. PriorityWatershedProgram
  13. 13. PriorityWatershedProgram
  14. 14.  Documents/ Research Models Assessments/ Aquatic InventoryExisting Information
  15. 15. Identify gaps and localconcerns????
  16. 16. Develop watershed assessmentsto identify projects that will reachour desired future condition
  17. 17.  (1) maintaining long-term watershed health, (2) determining baseline aquatic resource conditions, (3) evaluating aquatic resource condition trends, (4) interpreting resource responses to natural and human disturbance, and (5) assigning achievable desired future conditionsAquatic Assessment/ InventoryUses
  18. 18. More Aquatic InventoryUses• 1. Asses riparian habitat conditions• 2. Assess populations• 3. Support design of in-stream structures• 4. Monitor effects• 5. Watershed restoration planning
  19. 19. Types of Assessments
  20. 20. • Tier I - classification level• Tier II - quantitative measures of core habitatattributes summed by reach• Tier III - replication of physical measurements,additional habitat attributes summed by habitatunit, habitat units to meso level• Tier IV - systematic replication of physicalhabitatmeasures, addition attributes summed by habitatunits, habitat units to micro levelFish and Aquatic Stream InventoryHierarchy
  21. 21.  Tier I – Minimum field verification standards for timber sale project planning Tier I/II – Upstream Assessment of Fish Habitat Tier II/III – Watershed condition and needsassessment Tier IV - Channel condition assessmentAquatic Inventory Applications
  22. 22.  Width to Depth Ratio Total Large Wood per Kilometer Total Key Large Wood per Kilomter Pools per Kilometer Pool Space Residual Pool Depth/ Channel Bedwidth Substrate Size Pool Length per Meter Pool SizeHabitat Management Objectives
  23. 23. Complete project monitoring &adaptive management
  24. 24. Resources• Staney Creek Vegetative Management Strategy Staney IRMP Proposal for Action Staney Creek Restoration Environmental Assessment Staney Creek Restoration EA Decision Document Staney Creek Watershed Restoration Plan Alaback - Opportunities for Restoring Second Growth Ecosystems Brinkman - Trends of Deer and Hunters on Prince of Wales Island Unit 2 Wildlife Harvest Data Young Growth Management Strategy for Unit 2 Framework for Setting Restoration Priorities on POW Alaback - Evaluation of canopy gaps for wildlife in SE Alaska
  25. 25.  Ellanna and Sherrod - Timber Management and Fish and Wildlife use in Klawock (1987) Brock and Coiley-Kenner - Traditional Knowledge about the Fisheries of Southeast Alaska (2009) Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Proposal (5/14/10) Impacts of restoration on sustainable timber harvest levels (Brackley). Tradeoffs among ecosystem services benefits (Nicholls) Integrating ecosystem Services and forest restoration (Deal/Patterson) Heating options suing biomass removals from Staney young growth (Nicholls). Social benefits of restoration projects (Kruger). Staney Community Forestry Project FINAL: REPORTResources
  26. 26.  ed/ ney-creek/ ney-creek/documents/documents-and- papers/view.html The Forest Service Resources