The effectiveness of conservation efforts in the Little Bear River Watershed - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the little bear river watershed n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The effectiveness of conservation efforts in the Little Bear River Watershed PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The effectiveness of conservation efforts in the Little Bear River Watershed

play fullscreen
1 / 78
The effectiveness of conservation efforts in the Little Bear River Watershed
104 Views
Download Presentation
lot
Download Presentation

The effectiveness of conservation efforts in the Little Bear River Watershed

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. The effectiveness of conservation efforts in the Little Bear River Watershed Douglas Jackson-Smith: SSWA Dept, USU Nancy Mesner: WATS Dept, USU David Stevens, Jeff Horsburgh, Darwin Sorensen: CEE Dept, USU

  2. Overview Background Analysis of Existing WQ Data Implementation & Maintenance Study Alternative Approaches – Riparian Study Targeting Critical Areas Common BMP Monitoring Problems Rethinking Monitoring

  3. USDA’s Conservation Effectiveness Assessment Projects National Assessment Watershed Studies Bibliographies and Lit Reviews

  4. CEAP Program Objectives • Determine whether publicly-funded programs to reduce phosphorus loadings from nonpoint sources into surface waters in the Little Bear River watershed are effective; • Examine the strengths and weaknesses of different water quality monitoring programs; and • Make recommendations to stakeholders to ensure that future agricultural management efforts are targeted towards the most effective and socioeconomically viable BMPs.

  5. USU Project Overview • Original LBR watershed project (~1990-2002) • Funds from HUA; EPA 319; EQIP • USU Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP) Grant – 2005-2009 • Assess effects of historical conservation practices • Review historical data • Map practices and their implementation • Model watershed and stream response • Outreach and education • Establish water quality monitoring network

  6. Little Bear Watershed

  7. Little Bear River Hydrologic Unit Project

  8. Pre-treatment problems: Bank erosion, manure management, flood irrigation problems

  9. Treatments: • bank stabilization, • river reach restoration, • off-stream watering, • manure and water management, • grazing management

  10. Analysis of Historic Water Quality Trends

  11. Seasonal Kendall Trend for TP concentration at Mendon Rd (mouth of LBR). Conservation project initiation Slope -0.0043 mg/L yr Since 1992 No Significant slope before 1990

  12. Flow data may drag down ‘post’ estimates

  13. Ambient Monitoring DataLittle Bear at Paradise Moist Dry ConsProjects ‘Normal’ Dry

  14. OBSERVATIONS • Trends suggest water quality improvements • Data Record Insufficient to • Tease out Exogenous Variables – project coincided with changes in background climate conditions • Link Trends to BMP Implementation • Support Traditional Modeling Approaches

  15. Implementation and Maintenance of BMPs

  16. Socioeconomic Component BEHAVIOR PROGRAM SIGNUP WATER QUALITY CONTRACTED BMPS IMPLEMENTATION MAINTENANCE

  17. Socioeconomic Methods • Gather formal practice info from NRCS files • Went through every file – 90 landowners • Create master list of practices (871 total) • Copied key maps for interviews • Conduct field interviews with participants • Validate file information • Contacted 70 of 90 participants • 55 agreed to be interviewed • 61% of all landowners; 79% of those we contacted • Conducted field interviews - ~90 minutes • Detailed discussoin about BMP experience

  18. Findings - Implementation • Individual BMPs • 83% of BMPs successfully implemented • Reasons for non-implementation (17%) • Some cases – not recognized as contracted BMP • Many – management practices that did not change behavior (based on interview discussion) • Farm-Level • 32% farms implemented all BMPs • 60% farms implemented more than ½

  19. Maintenance of BMPs • Is it still there? If not, why not? • Overall – • 21% of implemented BMPs not still there • Combined with non-implemented practices = 1/3 of all originally contracted BMPs not currently there • Why not maintained? • No longer farming or sold land – 32% • Still farming, no longer use – 68%

  20. Implications: Maintenance • Good news: • Producers did not discontinue the practices because they did not like them • Not so good news: • The management practices had the shortest lifespan • ALSO: Nonfarm Development and Farm Changes can also affect long term impacts

  21. Implications: Implementation • Management practices are the heart of conservation programs • Failure to fully implement may have huge impacts on success • Big Question: How can management behaviors be implemented more effectively?

  22. Analysis of Riparian Area BMPs

  23. Videography Analysis Component • Limitations to WQ monitoring data in 1990s • Search for alternative indicators of BMP impact • Discussions with colleagues led to discovery of 1992 aerial 3-band videography for stretches of LBR • Arranged to re-fly the river in 2007

  24. Analysis Strategy • Match images from 1992 and 2007 • Classify vegetative conditions for both time periods within identical riparian zones • Riparian trees • Small shrubs & grasses • Bare soil • Water & Shadows • Quantify changes in riparian vegetation and stream geomorphology between 1992-2007 • Associate presence or absence of ‘riparian-relevant’ BMPs to these changes

  25. ‘Riparian Area’ Focused BMPs • Stream channel structural BMPs • Clearing & snagging (326) • Streambank and shoreline protection (580) (13,825’) • Stream channel stabilization (584) • Stream access controls for livestock • Riparian fencing (5383) – subset of 382 • Stream crossing (578) • Riparian vegetation BMPs • Channel vegetation (322) • Critical area planting (342) • Tree/Shrub establishment (612)

  26. 2007 digital images 1992 video images

  27. Site: Upstream from Hyrum Dam 1992 Multispectral Mosaic 2007 Multispectral Mosaic Detail

  28. Initial Observations • Significant vegetation growth • Trees significantly larger throughout watershed • Significant geomorphologic changes in main stream channel path • Moving centerline • New ‘islands’ • Major bank cuts & shifts in some new erosion • BIG QUESTION: Is it because of BMPs?

  29. 1992 2007

  30. 1992 2007

  31. STATISTICAL RESULTS • Calculate area for each of 5 different vegetative classes • PREVIEW: analysis approach • Document overall patterns of change • Shows the ‘background’ trends • Compare changes in “BMP impact zones” • Aggregated riparian-relevant BMPs • Individual riparian-relevant BMPs • Comparison to Non-BMP areas

  32. Quick Summary • Riparian conditions improving throughout watershed (more trees, less exposed soil) • BMPs installed in areas with less vegetation • BMPs associated with much more rapid growth in tree cover, similar rates of decline in exposed soil • Fences = reduced exposed soil most • Instream work = increased trees the most

  33. Targeting Critical Areas

  34. Idea behind Targeting… • Growing Recognition of Landscape Variability • Research Q: Is there evidence that the BMPs implemented in LBR specifically targeted critical areas? • Critical Areas: areas where the potential contribution of pollutants (i.e., sediments, phosphorus) to the receiving water is significantly higher than other areas

  35. Combined Map of Risk Zones

  36. Description of LBR Area

  37. 62% 23% Covered By BMPs 47% 47%

  38. Implications: Spatial Analysis • Evidence exists that higher risk zones were targeted with BMPs (not random) • More than ½ of riskiest areas covered by BMPs • More than 70% of BMPs in zones that are not considered at high risk for runoff erosion • Suggests opportunity for greater targeting & efficiency • Related to structure of program

  39. Common Problems in BMP Monitoring Programs

  40. Lessons Learned: Common problems in BMP monitoring programs Failure to design monitoring plan around BMP objectives Failure to identify and quantify sources of variability in these dynamic systems. Failure to understand pollutant pathways and transformations  choosing inappropriate monitoring approaches

  41. v Little Bear River Watershed, Utah

  42. Total Observations at Watershed Outlet site Discharge Total phosphorus 1976 - 2004: 162 241 1994 - 2004: 72 99 1994 11 13 1995 10 13 1996 10 13 1997 11 4 1998 6 10 1999 7 10 2000 6 5 2001 4 7 2002 2 8 2003 4 8 2004 1 8 Number of observations each year

  43. Was the original UDWQ monitoring program a failure? No….Program was intended to detect exceedences of water quality criteria. The failure was ours…. In attempting to use these monitoring data for detecting change in loads

  44. Failure to design monitoring plan around BMP objectives • Failure to identify and quantify sources of variability in these dynamic system. • A failure to understand pollutant pathways and transformations  choosing inappropriate monitoring approaches

  45. “lower watershed site” “upper watershed site”