Event Title

Riparian Post-Fire Response: Factors Influencing Vegetation Recovery and Channel Stability

Presenter Information

Camie Dencker

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://www.restoringthewest.org/

Abstract

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Emergency Stability and Rehabilitation Handbook suggests a rest from grazing following wildfire for two years or until objectives are met for the recovery of vegetation and key processes. It is important to understand and predict riparian response to fire since wildlife, humans, and livestock production all depend on riparian functions for food, habitat, recreation, and water. Long duration grazing restrictions cause economic hardships in rural Nevada communities that depend on public land livestock grazing, yet land managers must consider multiple uses and the 24 functionality of riparian systems. Little research focuses on post-fire riparian response and how recovery varies among stream types or in relation to condition, attributes, and drivers. To quantify stream recovery, we use the protocol Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) of Stream Channels and Streamside Vegetation (Burton et al. 2011). It is becoming a standard method for quantifying riparian objectives. We do so at 24 streams across Nevada BLM lands burned in 2012 fires. We focus on reaches of management concern (e.g., functional at-risk, threatened species habitat, or aspen stands). Five sites are recovering aspen stands and fifteen were rated as functional-at-risk during a proper functioning condition (PFC) assessment performed within ten years prior to the fire. Long term MIM indicators include greenline plant composition (stability rating and wetland indicator value), woody species height class, streambank stability and cover, woody species age class, and greenline-to-greenline width. We evaluate the predictive ability among indicators, and investigate how streams vary in response among stream types, grazing history, position in the watershed, hydrogeomorphic interactions, prior condition and phases of the gully evolution cycle.

Comments

Camie Dencker is a M.S. Student, Natural Resource and Environmental Science, University of Nevada Reno Co-authors: Sherman Swanson, Kent McAdoo

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Oct 28th, 10:30 AM Oct 28th, 11:00 AM

Riparian Post-Fire Response: Factors Influencing Vegetation Recovery and Channel Stability

USU Eccles Conference Center

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Emergency Stability and Rehabilitation Handbook suggests a rest from grazing following wildfire for two years or until objectives are met for the recovery of vegetation and key processes. It is important to understand and predict riparian response to fire since wildlife, humans, and livestock production all depend on riparian functions for food, habitat, recreation, and water. Long duration grazing restrictions cause economic hardships in rural Nevada communities that depend on public land livestock grazing, yet land managers must consider multiple uses and the 24 functionality of riparian systems. Little research focuses on post-fire riparian response and how recovery varies among stream types or in relation to condition, attributes, and drivers. To quantify stream recovery, we use the protocol Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) of Stream Channels and Streamside Vegetation (Burton et al. 2011). It is becoming a standard method for quantifying riparian objectives. We do so at 24 streams across Nevada BLM lands burned in 2012 fires. We focus on reaches of management concern (e.g., functional at-risk, threatened species habitat, or aspen stands). Five sites are recovering aspen stands and fifteen were rated as functional-at-risk during a proper functioning condition (PFC) assessment performed within ten years prior to the fire. Long term MIM indicators include greenline plant composition (stability rating and wetland indicator value), woody species height class, streambank stability and cover, woody species age class, and greenline-to-greenline width. We evaluate the predictive ability among indicators, and investigate how streams vary in response among stream types, grazing history, position in the watershed, hydrogeomorphic interactions, prior condition and phases of the gully evolution cycle.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2015/Posters/17