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Watershed Condition Frameworks by Angela Coleman

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Watershed Condition Frameworks by Angela Coleman

  1. 1. Watershed Condition Frameworks A 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 management What are Prince of Wales watershed needs??
  3. 3. Watershed condition is the state of the physical and biological characteristics and processes within a watershed that affect hydrologic and soil functions effecting aquatic ecosystems. Watershed condition reflects a range of variability from natural pristine (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 species Watersheds that are functioning properly have:
  5. 5. Watersheds that are functioning 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  Monitoring Types of Assessments Resources the FS has generated 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 Function Watershed 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. Priority Watershed Program
  12. 12. Priority Watershed Program
  13. 13. Priority Watershed Program
  14. 14.  Documents/ Research  Models  Assessments/ Aquatic Inventory Existing Information
  15. 15. Identify gaps and local concerns????
  16. 16. Develop watershed assessments to identify projects that will reach our 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 conditions Aquatic Assessment/ Inventory Uses
  18. 18. More Aquatic Inventory Uses • 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 habitat attributes summed by reach • Tier III - replication of physical measurements, additional habitat attributes summed by habitat unit, habitat units to meso level • Tier IV - systematic replication of physical habitat measures, addition attributes summed by habitat units, habitat units to micro level Fish and Aquatic Stream Inventory Hierarchy
  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 needs assessment  Tier IV - Channel condition assessment Aquatic 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 Size Habitat 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: REPORT Resources
  26. 26.  http://www.fs.fed.us/publications/watersh ed/  http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/sta ney-creek/  http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/sta ney-creek/documents/documents-and- papers/view.html  The Forest Service  Resources

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