Event Title

Understanding Challenges in Managing Riparian Systems at a Landscape Scale

Presenter Information

Christy Meredith

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Streaming Media

 
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Abstract

As societies increasingly use more water and other natural resources, the ability of managers to conserve aquatic biota will depend on whether habitat can be maintained or restored. However, managers must be able to track the status and trend of these aquatic systems if they are to be accountable to the goal of maintaining habitat conditions. This can be particularly challenging given that natural landscape and geomorphic characteristics can also have a strongly influence on expected stream conditions. Within the Interior Columbia River Basin and over the last decade, the PACFISH INFISH Biological Opinion Effectiveness Monitoring Program (PIBO EMP) is trying to answer the question; “Are key biological and physical components of aquatic and riparian communities being improved, degraded, or restored within the range of anadromous salmonids (Oncorhynchus sp.) and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)?” This program has sampled over 1300 stream reaches spatially distributed within the Basin. We assess status and trend by incorporating techniques that account for variation due to natural landscape and geomorphic characters. We have found that stream habitat conditions have been improving over the last 15 years but that the status of stream conditions vary greatly across the study area. Low-transport stream reaches in dry climates and stream reaches close to roads have been among the slowest to respond to management. Results indicate that long-term data sets, exceeding the duration of many sampling programs, are needed to detect trends in most aspects of habitat condition.

Comments

Christy Meredith graduated with a PhD in Ecology from Utah State University in 2012. Her main research interest is how geomorphic, landscape, and anthropogenic factors affect the distribution and life histories of aquatic organisms within stream systems. She currently is a data analyst for the PACFISH INFISH Biological Opinion Program, where she develops quantitative methods to examine the status and trend of habitat conditions for listed species of salmonids in the interior Columbia River Basin. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing, nature photography, and drinking microbrews.

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Oct 22nd, 9:45 AM Oct 22nd, 10:15 AM

Understanding Challenges in Managing Riparian Systems at a Landscape Scale

USU Eccles Conference Center

As societies increasingly use more water and other natural resources, the ability of managers to conserve aquatic biota will depend on whether habitat can be maintained or restored. However, managers must be able to track the status and trend of these aquatic systems if they are to be accountable to the goal of maintaining habitat conditions. This can be particularly challenging given that natural landscape and geomorphic characteristics can also have a strongly influence on expected stream conditions. Within the Interior Columbia River Basin and over the last decade, the PACFISH INFISH Biological Opinion Effectiveness Monitoring Program (PIBO EMP) is trying to answer the question; “Are key biological and physical components of aquatic and riparian communities being improved, degraded, or restored within the range of anadromous salmonids (Oncorhynchus sp.) and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)?” This program has sampled over 1300 stream reaches spatially distributed within the Basin. We assess status and trend by incorporating techniques that account for variation due to natural landscape and geomorphic characters. We have found that stream habitat conditions have been improving over the last 15 years but that the status of stream conditions vary greatly across the study area. Low-transport stream reaches in dry climates and stream reaches close to roads have been among the slowest to respond to management. Results indicate that long-term data sets, exceeding the duration of many sampling programs, are needed to detect trends in most aspects of habitat condition.