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Crooked River Ecosystem Assessment at the Watershed Scale

Crooked River Ecosystem Assessment at the Watershed Scale

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Crooked River Ecosystem Assessment at the Watershed Scale

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  1. Crooked River Ecosystem Assessment at the Watershed Scale Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries/Watershed BPA Project #28043

  2. The Proposal: Conduct an Ecosystem Assessment at the Watershed Scale (EAWS) in the Crooked River Overall Project Goal: • Use the EAWS to help initiate and sustain the ecological recovery of the Crooked River watershed

  3. Characterization of the watershed • The majority of land in the watershed is Federally owned/managed by the Nez Perce National Forest

  4. Characterization of the watershed • The primary anthropogenic disturbances in the watershed have been timber harvest, road construction, and mining

  5. Characterization of the watershed • Timber harvest • Timber has been harvested from approximately 11% of the watershed, with some 700 acres coming from riparian habitat conservation areas (RHCA’s)

  6. Characterization of the watershed • Timber harvest • Timber has been harvested from approximately 11% of the watershed, with some 700 acres coming from riparian habitat conservation areas (RHCA’s) • Approximately 50% of private land has been logged

  7. Characterization of the watershed • Road construction • There are 137 road miles (avg. 2.0/mi2) in the watershed, with some 40 miles in the RHCA

  8. Characterization of the watershed • Road construction • There are 137 road miles (avg. 2.0/mi2) in the watershed, with some 40 miles in the RHCA • Forest Road #233 represents one of the primary resource problems along the mainstem, as the majority of its length occurs within the Crooked River floodplain

  9. Characterization of the watershed • Mining • Mining has drastically altered the mainstem Crooked River more than any other historic land use activity

  10. Characterization of the watershed • Mining • Mining has drastically altered the mainstem Crooked River more than any other historic land use activity • A combined 347 acres of stream channel and riparian areas throughout the watershed have been severly altered by dredging in the 1930’s, late 1940’s, and early 1950’s

  11. Characterization of the watershed • Fish species occurring in the watershed: • summer steelhead (threatened) • bull trout (threatened) • westslope cutthroat trout • “naturalized” spring/summer chinook salmon

  12. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors, as defined in the Nez Perce National Forest Section 7 assessment (1999), include:

  13. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors - aquatics: • poor riparian vegetation conditions

  14. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors - aquatics: • low riparian vegetation conditions • low floodplain connectivity

  15. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors - aquatics: • low riparian vegetation conditions • low floodplain connectivity • high levels of cobble embeddedness

  16. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors - aquatics: • low riparian vegetation conditions • low floodplain connectivity • high levels of cobble embeddedness • high percent fines by depth

  17. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors - aquatics: • low riparian vegetation conditions • low floodplain connectivity • high levels of cobble embeddedness • high percent fines by depth • low pool frequency

  18. Characterization of the watershed • Key limiting factors - aquatics: • low riparian vegetation conditions • low floodplain connectivity • high levels of cobble embeddedness • high percent fines by depth • low pool frequency • poor amounts of off-channel habitat

  19. Characterization of watershed • Key limiting factors, as defined in the Nez Perce National Forest Section 7 assessment, include:

  20. Why focus restoration/protection efforts in the Crooked River? • Productivity

  21. Why focus restoration/protection efforts in the Crooked River? • productivity • fisheries

  22. Why focus restoration/protection efforts in the Crooked River? • productivity • fisheries • wildlife

  23. Why focus restoration/protection efforts in the Crooked River? • productivity • fisheries • wildlife • M&E

  24. Why focus restoration/protection efforts in the Crooked River? • productivity • fisheries • wildlife • M&E • NPTH

  25. Project Objectives: • Conduct a fine scale analysis to describe past and current conditions in the watershed

  26. Project Objectives: • Conduct a fine scale analysis to describe past and current conditions in the watershed • Prioritize critical areas for restoration and/or protection

  27. Project Objectives: • Conduct a fine scale analysis to describe past and current conditions in the watershed • Prioritize critical areas for restoration and/or protection • Provide a means by which the watershed can be understood as an ecological system

  28. Project Objectives: • Conduct a fine scale analysis to describe past and current conditions in the watershed • Prioritize critical areas for restoration and/or protection • Provide a means by which the watershed can be understood as an ecological system • Improve resolution of the Clearwater subbasin summary and assessment

  29. Project Strategies: • Spend one year in data collection efforts

  30. Project Strategies: • Spend one year in data collection efforts • Spend one year drafting the EAWS

  31. Project Strategies: • Spend one year in data collection efforts • Spend one year drafting the EAWS • Work cooperatively with: • Nez Perce Tribe • IDFG • USFS • BLM

  32. Thank you. May I answer any questions?

  33. Project Strategies: • EAWS six-step process • Characterization of the watershed

  34. Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- • Characterization of the watershed • Identification of issues and key questions

  35. Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- • Characterization of the watershed • Identification of issues and key questions • Description of current conditions

  36. Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- • Characterization of the watershed • Identification of Issues and key questions • Description of current conditions • Description of reference conditions

  37. Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- • Characterization of the watershed • Identification of issues and key questions • Description of current conditions • Description of reference conditions • Interpretation of information

  38. Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- • Characterization of the watershed • Identification of issues and key questions • Description of current conditions • Description of reference conditions • Interpretation of information • Recommendations