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Riparian Restoration Planning

The thought of managing invasive species across a broad landscape can be an intimidating one, especially given finite human and financial resources.  Fortunately, innovative land managers, scientists, and watershed partnership groups, have worked to develop a number of planning, prioritization, and funding tools that can aid in restoration on a local, regional or landscape-scale.  The resources listed in this section provide planning and development considerations, describe goal setting and prioritization, landscape-scale partnership development, funding considerations and resources, and project management considerations. 
 

Riparian Restoration Planning

  • Stream Hydrology: An introduction for Ecologists (Gordon et al. 2004) - John Wiley & Sons.
     
     
    Since the publication of the first edition (1994) there have been rapid developments in the application of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology to stream management. In particular, growth has occurred in the areas of stream rehabilitation and the evaluation of environmental flow needs. The concept of stream health has been adopted as a way of assessing stream resources and setting management goals.

    Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists Second Edition documents recent research and practice in these areas. Chapters provide information on sampling, field techniques, stream analysis, the hydrodynamics of moving water, channel form, sediment transport and commonly used statistical methods such as flow duration and flood frequency analysis. Methods are presented from engineering hydrology, fluvial geomorphology and hydraulics with examples of their biological implications. This book demonstrates how these fields are linked and utilised in modern, scientific river management.

    * Emphasis on applications, from collecting and analysing field measurements to using data and tools in stream management.
    * Updated to include new sections on environmental flows, rehabilitation, measuring stream health and stream classification.
    * Critical reviews of the successes and failures of implementation.
    * Revised and updated windows-based AQUAPAK software.

    This book is essential reading for 2nd/3rd year undergraduates and postgraduates of hydrology, stream ecology and fisheries science in Departments of Physical Geography, Biology, Environmental Science, Landscape Ecology, Environmental Engineering and Limnology. It would be valuable reading for professionals working in stream ecology, fisheries science and habitat management, environmental consultants and engineers.

     
     
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    The Biology of Biocontrol: Enhancing the Biological Control of Tamarisk to Better Serve Riparian Restoration and Recovery
     
    Dan Bean1*, Alex Gaffke2, Tom Dudley3, Levi Jamison4, Amanda Stahlke5 and Zeynep Ӧzsoy6
     
    1Colorado Department of Agriculture, Palisade Insectary, Palisade, CO, USA; dan.bean@state.co.us
    2USDA ARS, Gainesville, FL, USA; alexander.gaffke@gmail.com
    3Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA; tdudley@msi.ucsb.edu
    5University of Idaho, Moscow, ID USA; amandastahlke@gmail.com
    6Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO, USA; aozsoy@coloradomesa.edu
     
     
    Beetles in the genus Diorhabda were first released in North American in 2001 for the control of shrubs in the genus Tamarix.  Since then they have spread to many river systems in the western US and have more recently entered Mexico. They have been successful in reducing Tamarix densities in some areas and yet have been difficult to establish in other areas.  They have also moved into areas where Tamarix is utilized by the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, Empidonax traillii extimus, raising concerns that episodic defoliations could negatively impact this and other wildlife species.  Resource managers are searching for methods to better predict and increase the likelihood of defoliation events as well as to prevent defoliation in areas in which Tamarix serves as nesting substrate for the endangered flycatcher. Our knowledge of the behavior and phenology of Diorhabda has steadily increased since beetles were first released. In addition, through the use of new techniques in genomics we are developing an ever richer array of molecular tools for tracking population genetics as well as the potential identification of genes involved in biological processes critical to biocontrol efficacy such as host plant interactions, behavior, and phenology.  We will present recent work on manipulation of beetle populations using the male-produced aggregation pheromone (beetle herding), prediction of phenological events using a newly developed model as well as progress and potential in Diorhabda genomics.  These will be presented in the context of using science to better manage riparian ecosystems.
     
     
     
     
     
  • A Guide to Enhancing Rivers, Streams and Desert Washes for Birds and Other Wildlife.

    Produced by Tucson Audubon Society, Audubon Arizona, and Arizona Game and Fish.

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    Individual people are responsible for creating the trash that clogs our waterways, and it’s often up to individual people to clean that trash up. Hosting a river cleanup project in your area is a great way to not only improve the health of your local waterway, but to form new friendships with like-minded people. 
     
    Get expert advice from seasoned river cleanup organizations on hosting the most effective project possible.  
     
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    New Findings on the Climate Sensitivity of the Water Balance of the Upper Colorado River Basin
     
    Chris Milly1
     
    1 Integrated Modeling and Prediction Division, U.S. Geological Survey
     
    The structure and function of rivers and riparian environments depend on many factors, and these include both climate and human disturbances. Under a changing climate, river restoration efforts may benefit from information about the future trajectory of climate and its impact on water balance. Because of the central role played by the Colorado River for water supply in the Southwest, many scientific investigations have been undertaken over the years in an effort to define the climate sensitivity of runoff in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). These investigations have yielded frustratingly inconsistent results. We found that the widely varying estimates of sensitivity of UCRB runoff to climate can be reconciled by recognizing certain shortcomings in the methods that have been used until now. By avoiding these shortcomings, we have considerably narrowed the uncertainty in climate sensitivity of the UCRB. Our analysis shows that (and, importantly, explains why) the amount of reduction in flow that results from atmospheric warming is strongly dependent on the seasonal cycle of snow cover; this finding may be useful in predicting which sub-basins within the UCRB are least/most sensitive to warming.
     
     
     
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    Author(s): R. Roy Johnson; Steven W. Carothers; Deborah M. Finch; Kenneth J. Kingsley; John T. Stanley
     
    Fifty years ago, riparian habitats were not recognized for their extensive and critical contributions to wildlife and the ecosystem function of watersheds. This changed as riparian values were identified and documented, and the science of riparian ecology developed steadily. Papers in this volume range from the more mesic northwestern United States to the arid Southwest and Mexico. More than two dozen authors - most with decades of experience - review the origins of riparian science in the western United States, document what is currently known about riparian ecosystems, and project future needs. Topics are widespread and include: interactions with fire, climate change, and declining water; impacts from exotic species; unintended consequences of biological control; the role of small mammals; watershed response to beavers; watershed and riparian changes; changes below large dams; water birds of the Colorado River Delta; and terrestrial vertebrates of mesquite bosques. Appendices and references chronicle the field’s literature, authors, "riparian pioneers," and conferences. >> Volume 2 is also available on Treesearch: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60500
  •  University of Arizona Press, Briggs, M.K. and W.R. Osterkamp. 2020
     
     
    This guidebook builds on what came before, developing it as both a guidance 'how to' as well as a reference. Where restoration topics are well-documented and well-traveled, we offer references. Where not, we offer detailed guidance on how to develop a stream restoration response start to finish.
     
  • Stream Channel Reference Sites: An illustrated guide to field technique (Harrelson et al. 1994) - USDA Forest Service
     
    This document is a guide to establishing permanent reference sites for gathering data about the physical characteristics of streams and rivers. The minimum procedure consists of the following: (1) select a site, (2) map the site and location, (3) measure the channel cross-section, (4) survey a longitudinal profile of the channel, (5) measure streamflow, (6) measure bed material, and (7) permanently file the information with the Vigil network. The document includes basic surveying techniques, provides guidelines for identifying bankfull indicators and measuring other important stream characteristics. The object is to establish the baseline of existing physical conditions for the stream channel. With this foundation, changes in the character of streams can be quantified for monitoring purposes or to support other management decisions.
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    Why Do Some Restoration Projects Fail and Others Succeed? A Quantitative Look at 243 Sites for Environmental, Management, and Social Factors
     
    Anna Sher1*, Annie L. Henry2, Lisa B. Clark2, Alex Goetz2, and Eduardo González2,3
     
    1University of Denver, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Denver, CO, USA; anna.sher@du.edu 
    2University of Denver, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Denver, CO, USA
    3Colorado State University Dept. of Biology, Fort Collins, CO
     
     
    Tamarix control projects in riparian systems vary widely in their success at meeting project goals. Researchers have investigated the role of removal methods and the environment to explain this variability, but the human component has rarely been explored. Our previous research had found that in this system, land managers mostly follow scientific recommendations regardless of background or attitudes, however, the question remained how much these choices, or even aspects of background or experience, actually explained restoration outcomes. This research quantifies the relative roles of environmental factors and both manager decisions and traits for explaining the impact of Tamarix removal projects throughout the southwestern U.S. To do this, we have created 243 pairs of sites where Tamarix has been removed with controls to quantify impact. Our response measure was a PCA of those metrics that mattered most to managers as a measure of success, that is, a change in 1) Tamarix cover, 2) total native species cover, 3) relative understory native cover, and 4) understory noxious species cover. We then determined how much of the variability in this dependent variable could be explained by commonly used environmental factors such as soil texture and chemistry, geography, measures of water availability, and removal method. We then determined to what degree human factors explained the remaining, unexplained variance (i.e., residuals). These human data were collected from 45 corresponding managers of these sites who completed questionnaires about their practices and backgrounds. We found that decisions made by managers beyond removal method mattered for the degree to which Tamarix removal changed plant communities, including what priorities had been established for the site and how many collaborators were involved with the project. This is the first study to quantify the direct relationship between human traits and vegetation in this ecosystem type, and with implications for improving restoration outcomes in the future.
     
     
  • Landscape conservation design (LCD) is a collaborative, inter-disciplinary planning process that integrates societal values and multi-sector interests with the best available social and natural sciences to assess vulnerabilities, risks, and opportunities; and develops coordinated, spatially-explicit strategies that reduce land-use conflicts, enhance the adaptive capacity of the socio-ecological system, and maintains ecosystem function across the landscape for future generations.

    The Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative is currently developing landscape conservation design tools for the Four Corners Region, the Green River Basin, and the Upper Rio Grande. Please visit the linked pages for more background, associated documents, and links to data.  

     

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    Overview:
     
    Our rivers are in crisis and the need for river restoration has never been more urgent. Water security and biodiversity indices for all of the world’s major rivers have declined due to pollution, diversions, impoundments, fragmented flows, introduced and invasive species, and many other abuses.
     
    Developing successful restoration responses are essential. Renewing Our Rivers addresses this need head-on with examples of how to design and implement stream-corridor restoration projects. Based on the experiences of seasoned professionals, Renewing Our Rivers provides stream restoration practitioners the main steps to develop successful and viable stream restoration projects that last. Ecologists, geomorphologists, and hydrologists from dryland regions of Australia, Mexico, and the United States share case studies and key lessons learned for successful restoration and renewal of our most vital resource.
     
    The aim of this guidebook is to offer essential restoration guidance that allows a start-to-finish overview of what it takes to bring back a damaged stream corridor. Chapters cover planning, such emerging themes as climate change and environmental flow, the nuances of implementing restoration tactics, and monitoring restoration results. Renewing Our Rivers provides community members, educators, students, natural resource practitioners, experts, and scientists broader perspectives on how to move the science of restoration to practical success.
     
  • 2019 Dolores River Restoration Partnership Annual Report 

  • Author(s): Steven W. Carothers; R. Roy Johnson; Deborah M. Finch; Kenneth J. Kingsley; Robert H. Hamre
     
    In the Preface to volume 1, we discuss the development of riparian ecology as one of the newest of ecological fields that gained significant momentum in the 1950s and 1960s as part of the general “riparian movement” in the United States. The field expanded rapidly throughout the latter half of the 1900s. Volume 2 involves more than two dozen authors - most with decades of experience - who expand upon riparian and other topics introduced in volume 1. Two important recent developments are global climate change and impacts of introduced tamarisk leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.) in the American West. Other chapters in volume 2 that provide current information evaluate the losses of riparian habitat, including “extirpation” of a large number of mesquite bosques (woodlands) in the Southwest; the restoration of riparian ecosystems damaged by anthropogenic activities; the importance of a watershed; and the importance of riparian ecosystems to recreation. The combination of volumes 1 and 2 examines the evolving understanding of scientific implications and anthropogenic threats to those ecosystems from Euro-American settlement of the region to present. >> Volume 1 is also available in Treesearch: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/57341

Planning & Development

  • While focused on Victoria, Australia, this guide provides any restoration practitioner with helpful information on highly efficient and cost effective revegetation methods. This publication aims to provide the practical 'know how' to help carry out your revegetation from start to finish. Section A covers the steps involved in a revegetation program, from planning and preparation to monitoring.
  • This manual details the very basics of restoration planning, techniques like planting, seeding, and preparing soil, and will also cover topics such as basic trail maintenance techniques that can be used in conjunction with common restoration ideas, as well as mechanized restoration, and more.  This manual, originally developed at Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA), applies to a broad range of environments. The techniques discussed were used in elevations ranging from 1500 to 9000 feet. Those elevations include the following major vegetation types: Mojave Desert Scrub, Sonoran Desert Scrub, Great Basin Desert Scrub, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Ponderosa Pine Forest, and Spruce-Fir Forest. Many projects were completed in or near desert riparian areas, while many others were completed on the dry North and South Rims of the park.

  • In California’s Central Valley, widespread flow regulation and land development have greatly reduced the extent and sustainability of native cottonwood and willow riparian forests, which provide critical habitat for many species of wildlife and fish. The results of a three-year study of seedling recruitment processes were used to develop an ecological modeling approach for supporting restoration planning.
  • This biodiversity scorecard provides a snapshot of the current conservation status of Colorado's rare and imperiled species, and its most widespread ecological systems. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program
    took a systematic and repeatable approach to these assessments, focusing on: quality, quantity, threats, and level of current protection. Resulting scores for these factors were then combined to produce an overall conservation status score. Successful implementation of a comprehensive conservation strategy should result in maintaining or improving these scores over time.
  • This Tamarisk Coalition developed resource allows users to estimate tamarisk and Russian olive removal and restoration costs based on existing site parameters. 

  • The purpose of the Stream Stewardship and Recovery Handbook is to create an educational resource for private landowners to better understand their streamside properties in the context of the larger watershed, what they can do to practice good stream stewardship and when/how they should engage outside help for stewardship or recovery projects.

  • The Great Basin LCC annual webinar series provides an opportunity for land managers and scientists working in the Great Basin to discuss their latest research and how to incorporate the research into on-the-ground efforts. Each webinar includes a 30 minute overview of a project co-presented by a scientist and manager, followed by a discussion focused on how the work can be applied and possible collaborations.

  • This publication is dedicated to the stewardship of forest land resources – especially clean water. It outlines Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the protection of natural resources. These BMPs apply to all forest management activities, including product harvests, fuels mitigation projects and forest health treatments.
  • The objective of the Healthy Rivers Assessment, authored by The Nature Conservancy, is to serve as a resource and guidance document to provide current freshwater ecosystem baselines and inform project design and prioritization.
     
    This analysis offers a comprehensive assessment of freshwater ecosystems in Colorado, scaled to the HUC 12 subwatershed level, and offers insight into opportunities to maintain, protect, and restore rivers and streams throughout Colorado. 
  • This NRCS document provides guidance on the augmentation of wetland functions beyond the original natural conditions on a former, degraded, or naturally functioning wetland site; sometimes at the expense of other functions.

  • This handbook discusses the major aspects of forest roads management as it relates to their design, location, inspection, maintenance and repair. Most private and state forest roads are already in existence, thus the primary focus of th  is publication is to assist landowners in the management of these in-place roads.
  • A great deal of effort has been devoted to developing guidance for stream restoration and rehabilitation. The available resources are diverse, reflecting the wide ranging approaches used and expertise required to develop stream restoration projects. To help practitioners sort through all of this information, a technical note has been developed to provide a guide to the wealth of information available. The document structure is primarily a series of short literature reviews followed by a hyperlinked reference list for the reader to find more information on each topic. The primary topics incorporated into this guidance include general methods, an overview of stream processes and restoration, case studies, and methods for data compilation, preliminary assessments, and field data collection. Analysis methods and tools, and planning and design guidance for specific restoration features, are also provided. This technical note is a bibliographic repository of information available to assist professionals with the process of planning, analyzing, and designing stream restoration and rehabilitation projects. 
  • This document describes NRCS standards for Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management. 

  • The River Restoration Analysis Tool, or RiverRAT. River RAT is a river project development and evaluation tool. It was developed to facilitate consistent and thorough evaluation of the potential impacts of proposed projects on river habitat. The tool is supported by a source document that provides a comprehensive synthesis of the watershed and river sciences relevant to restoration planning and design, a project risk evaluation matrix, and a separate comprehensive checklist of information necessary to review project proposals.

  • A well-designed revegetation plan is a foundational component of a successful stream restoration project. It helps to ensure the establishment and long-term viability of a healthy riparian corridor, which is critical to stream ecology and stream structure. This technical guidance document provides information and recommendations on:
    • Important elements to consider when developing a revegetation plan for a stream restoration project
    • Construction specifications within revegetation plans
    • Items to address during and after construction
  • This paper describes way that the state of California could benefit from enacting goals in the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration

  • The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the U.S. Geological Survey to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL can be used by federal managers and scientists for compiling information for data-calls, producing maps, generating reports, and conducting analyses at varying spatial and temporal scales. The LTDL currently houses 26,621 treatments from BLM lands across 13 states. 

  • This groundbreaking new publication from the Society for Ecological Restoration provides updated and expanded guidance on the practice of ecological restoration, clarifies the breadth of ecological restoration and allied environmental repair activities, and includes ideas and input from a diverse international group of restoration scientists and practitioners.

  • The intent of this user’s guide is to provide groups interested in setting up a viable prevention program in their area with the steps and resources to initiate and develop a weed prevention area (WPA).
  • Written by 44 of the field's most prominent scholars and scientists, this volume compiles 25 essays on tamarisk--its biology, ecology, politics, management, and the ethical issues involved with designating a particular species as "good" or "bad". The book analyzes the controversy surrounding tamarisk's role in our ecosystems and what should be done about it.

     

  • Bioengineering practices provide resiliency for streambanks, enhance wildlife habitat, enhance organic matter inputs to streams, improve water quality, increase floodplain roughness, and heighten landscape aesthetics so important to countless residents, visitors, and businesses. Accordingly, the authors have created the following manuscript to:
    • Provide guidelines for a comprehensive bioengineering strategy;
    • Incorporate design elements that impart site stability and resilience;
    • Include project recommendations that minimize risk during periods of vulnerability;
    • Increase understanding of how to properly apply bioengineering and revegetation techniques;
    • Provide background resources on the combined forces of water and gravity as they pertain to bioengineered structures; and
    • Create a searchable Revegetation Matrix for the primary native restoration species useful for flood recovery and other riparian areas throughout Colorado.
  • TechLine is a suite of print and online resources that provide invasive plant professionals access to new, innovative, and proven science-based information. The purpose of TechLine is to support invasive plant management programs by connecting researchers with managers of federal, state, county, and private lands so they may share the successes of their programs, techniques, and methods and learn from one another. 

  • This document is primarily intended to provide restoration guidance for land owners and land managers. Emphasis is placed on the use of planning, evaluation, and removal techniques that can minimize active revegetation efforts.  Information about species and planting methods appropriate to this watershed is also included.  In addition, some suggestions about Russian olive removal techniques and/or land management practices that facilitate native plant regeneration are also provided.

  • This USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website provides info on weed risk assessments completed to date. They are provided for interested stakeholders and may be useful in setting local policies or for informing resource managers. 

  • A presentation explaining and developing strategies for holistic management of watersheds.

  • This brochure details resources available for private landwoners interested in planning and implementing restoration on their lands in Mesa County, Colorado. 

  • This guide by Drs. Scott Nissen, Andrew Norton, Anna Sher, and Dan Bean offers key options and considerations for tamarisk treatment, including biocontrol, targeted guidance on how to develop management plans, implement various control strategies, and plan restoration for treated sites. Useful resource as an accompaniment to Sher et al. 2010. 
     
    Nissen et al. 2010.   
  • The Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (Study), initiated in January
    2010, was conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) Upper Colorado and
    Lower Colorado regions, and agencies representing the seven Colorado River Basin States.
    As defined in the Plan of Study, the purpose of the Study is to define current and
    future imbalances in water supply and demand in the Basin and the adjacent areas of the
    Basin States that receive Colorado River water over the next 50 years (through 2060), and to
    develop and analyze adaptation and mitigation strategies to resolve those imbalances. The
    Study does not result in a decision as to how future imbalances will or should be addressed.
    Rather, the Study provides a common technical foundation that frames the range of potential
    imbalances that may be faced in the future and the range of solutions that may be considered
    to resolve those imbalances.
  • The Roadmap for Considering Water for Arizona’s Natural Areas contains information on the current scientific understanding of water for natural areas and existing legal considerations for providing water to natural areas, examples of where natural areas are already included in water management decisions, and an overview of available paths forward for including natural areas alongside human uses.

  • This guide, a publication of the Nueces River Authority, describes riparian areas and their management, discusses general riparian restoration guidelines, delves into special issues in these areas, and provides assessment and monitoring information. 

  • The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program has requested experimental flow releases from Flaming Gorge Dam for (1) elevated summer base flows to promote larval endangered Colorado pikeminnow, and (2) midsummer spike flows to disadvantage spawning invasive smallmouth bass. This white paper explores the effects of these proposed flow modifications on riparian vegetation and sediment deposition downstream along the Green River. Although modest in magnitude, the elevated base flows and possible associated reductions in magnitude or duration of peak flows would exacerbate a long-term trend of flow stabilization on the Green River that is already leading to proliferation of vegetation including invasive tamarisk along the channel and associated sediment deposition, channel narrowing and channel simplification. Midsummer spike flows could promote establishment of late-flowering plants like tamarisk. Because channel narrowing and simplification threaten persistence and quality of backwater and side channel features needed by endangered fish, the proposed flow modifications could lead to degradation of fish habitat. Channel narrowing and vegetation encroachment could be countered by increases in peak flows or reductions in base flows in some years and by prescription of rapid flow declines following midsummer spike flows. These strategies for reducing vegetation encroachment would need to be balanced with flow needs of other riverine resources. Use of high flows to remove unwanted vegetation is constrained by current operational guidance for Flaming Gorge Dam, which attempts to limit spills (i.e., flows greater than 8600 ft3/s) that might contribute to cavitation and lead to dam safety concerns. Therefore, reversing vegetation encroachment is more likely to succeed if implemented while plants are still small. Annual monitoring of near-channel vegetation and topography would enable managers to prescribe a timely hydrologic response in case the proposed flow experiments lead to vegetation encroachment and habitat degradation.

  • This document, updated in 2008, is a consolidated woody invasive species management plan for Colorado’s Colorado, Gunnison, Uncompahgre, Dolores, White, andYampa/Green Watersheds.

  • This document presents a statewide assessment on the potential future influences of a changing climate on species and ecosystems of particular importance to the Bureau of Land Management within Colorado, with the goal of facilitating development of the best possible climate change adaptations to meet future conditions. 
     
     
     
     
     
  • Using high-resolution  multitemporal, multispectral data, the authors classified tamarisk defoliation in the Glen Canyon area in Arizona. The high spatial resolution classification provides key information to effectively inform restoration treatments regarding where and how much mechanical removal or controlled burning could be performed. Furthermore, the defoliated tamarisk classification can help understand the site-specific and spatially-variable relationship between tamarisk and the tamarisk beetle at this critical state when their interactions are still developing and currently unknown. 

  • This NRCS document  describes techniques related to the rehabilitation of a degraded wetland or the reestablishment of a wetland so that soils, hydrology, vegetative community, and habitat are a close approximation of the original natural condition that existed prior to modification to the extent practicable.

  • Working with managers, Rocky Moutain Research Station researchers have evaluated the available treatments for short-term rehabilitation of both smaller, hand-built and larger, machine-built burn piles. For the smaller piles, they found that both soil nitrogen and plant cover recovered to a level similar to that of the surrounding forest within two years, indicating that these scars may not need rehabilitation unless in a sensitive area. Seeding with native mountain brome was an effective option for the larger piles, whereas mechanical treatment either alone or with seeding did not increase plant cover. The root causes behind the long-term lack of trees are not yet clear, and the next step is to conduct field and lab studies to evaluate whether soil factors, competition with grasses, and/or herbivory are possible explanations.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center convened a workshop June 23-25, 2015, in Flagstaff, Ariz. for practitioners in restoration science to share general principles, successful restoration practices, and discuss the challenges that face those practicing riparian restoration in the southwestern United States. Presenters from the Colorado River and the Rio Grande basins, offered their perspectives and experiences in restoration at the local, reach and watershed scale. Outcomes of the workshop include this Proceedings volume, which is composed of extended abstracts of most of the presentations given at the workshop, and recommendations or information needs identified by participants. The organization of the Proceedings follows a general progression from local scale restoration to river and watershed scale approaches, and finishes with restoration assessments and monitoring.
     
  • This NRCS Conservation Practice Standard provides guidance on the creation of a wetland on a site location that was historically non-wetland.

  • In an effort to proactively protect water quality, Colorado has implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) for forestry activities. BMPs are a set of water-quality protection measures and guidelines that provide direction on planning, roads, Streamside Management Zones (SMZs), timber harvesting, pesticides and fertilizers, stream crossings and fire management.  
     
    In September 2012, an interdisciplinary team visited six timber-harvest sites in southwest Colorado to assess Colorado forestry BMP application and effectiveness. Each site was evaluated on planning, roads, SMZs, timber harvesting, hazardous substances, stream crossings and fire management, according to written criteria in the Field Audit Rating Guide.
  • Strategic planning is increasingly recognized as necessary for providing the greatest possible conservation benefits for restoration efforts. Rigorous, science-based resource assessment, combined with acknowledgement of broader basin trends, provides a solid foundation for determining effective projects. It is equally important that methods used to prioritize conservation investments are simple and practical enough that they can be implemented in a timely manner and by a variety of resource managers.
     
    With the help of local and regional natural resource professionals, this report provides a broad-scale, spatially-explicit assessment of 146 miles (~20,000 acres) of the Colorado River mainstem in Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah that will function as the basis for a systematic, practical approach to conservation planning and riparian restoration prioritization.
  • Abstract:
     
    Successful rangeland management maintains or restores the ability of riparian plant communities to capture sediment and stabilize streambanks. Management actions are most effective when they are focused on the vegetated streambank closest to the active channel, the greenline, where vegetation most influences erosion, deposition, landform, and water quality. Effective grazing management plans balance grazing periods, especially those with more time for re-grazing, with opportunities for plant growth by adjusting grazing timing, duration, intensity, and/or variation of use and recovery.
     
    Emphasizing either: a) schedules of grazing and recovery, or b) limited utilization level within the same growing season, is a fundamental choice which drives management actions, grazing criteria, and methods for short-term monitoring. To meet resource objectives and allow riparian recovery, managers use many tools and practices that allow rather than impede recovery. Economic decisions are based on both evaluation of investments and ongoing or variable costs, themselves justified by reduced expenses, increased production, or improved resource values. Ongoing management adjusts actions using short-term monitoring focused on chosen strategies. Long-term monitoring refocuses management to target priority areas first for needed functions, and then for desired resource values. Once riparian functions are established, management enables further recovery and resilience and provides opportunities for a greater variety of grazing strategies.
  • In 2012, the Tamarisk Coalition, in coordination with Tetra Tech and the City of Grand Junction, developed restoration recommendations for the Colorado River from Loma to Palisade. The recommendations, which are presented as an engineering appendix, were designed to support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers effort for developing and evaluation the Colorado River Ecosystem Restoration project, in accordance with Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996.
     
     
  • This website provides links to past webinars hosted by the Conservation Biology Institute. Topics are wide ranging. 

  • The Association of Wetland Managers (ASWM) works hard to stay abreast of time sensitive hot topics, including new policies, regulations and trending topics of interest to those involved and/or interested in wetland management and practice. From time to time, these topics do not fit in any of our current webinar series offerings so ASWM started offering a Hot Topics Webinar Series as a way to get important information out quickly to a broad audience. Some of the topics in the past have included the Clean Water Rule, the Ramsar Convention and international projects, complex legal cases, environmental economics and more. These webinars are advertised through our website, newsletters, social media and emails. There is no specific day of the month when these webinars occur. For more information and/or to join our email list for notices about upcoming events, please contact Laura Burchill at laura@aswm.org.

  • In this report, a restoration and monitoring plan for the San Rafael River, a tributary to the Green River in the upper Colorado River Basin, is presented. The plan is intended to guide restoration and management of the San Rafael River over the next 40-50 years and is developed as an adaptive management plan. The recommended restoration actions are intended to recover and enhance natural river processes, and are based on the best available information regarding the history of hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological changes that have occurred on the river over the last century. Sites for implementation are prioritized systematically using data on stream and riparian habitat and potential response of native fish populations to restoration. An experimental design is recommended for implementing restoration actions. Combined with sufficient monitoring, the experimental design will help in identifying the most successful restoration actions. The most successful restoration actions can then be applied to other sites on the San Rafael River and restoration of other river systems.

  • The four primary objectives of this project were to: (1) compile existing geospatial data regarding the location and type of wetlands in Colorado; (2) initiate an on-the-ground pilot project to assess the ecological condition of common wetland types in one hydrologic basin (Rio Grande Headwaters, HUC 6: 130100); (3) develop statewide strategies for setting wetland restoration priorities funded by CPW’s Wetlands Program; and (4) develop an interactive online mapping tool to transfer this information to local and statewide partners in wetlands conservation. This report is broken into three sections. Section 1 is an overview of the project; Section 2 describes Objective 1, part of Objective 3, and Objective 4; and Section 3 details Objective 2. The actual strategic plan of the CPW Wetlands Program can be found in a companion document.

  •  
    Author(s): R. Roy Johnson; Steven W. Carothers; Deborah M. Finch; Kenneth J. Kingsley; John T. Stanley
     
    Fifty years ago, riparian habitats were not recognized for their extensive and critical contributions to wildlife and the ecosystem function of watersheds. This changed as riparian values were identified and documented, and the science of riparian ecology developed steadily. Papers in this volume range from the more mesic northwestern United States to the arid Southwest and Mexico. More than two dozen authors - most with decades of experience - review the origins of riparian science in the western United States, document what is currently known about riparian ecosystems, and project future needs. Topics are widespread and include: interactions with fire, climate change, and declining water; impacts from exotic species; unintended consequences of biological control; the role of small mammals; watershed response to beavers; watershed and riparian changes; changes below large dams; water birds of the Colorado River Delta; and terrestrial vertebrates of mesquite bosques. Appendices and references chronicle the field’s literature, authors, "riparian pioneers," and conferences. >> Volume 2 is also available on Treesearch: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60500
  • Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) is a software program, developed by The Nature Conservancy, that provides useful information for those trying to understand the hydrologic impacts of human activities or trying to develop environmental flow recommendations for water managers. Nearly 2,000 water resource managers, hydrologists, ecologists, researchers and policy makers from around the world have used this program to assess how rivers, lakes and groundwater basins have been affected by human activities over time – or to evaluate future water management scenarios.
     
  • This manual is intended to assist both the experienced revegetation professional as well as a landowner new to revegetation. It was developed through a synthesis of the best current research combined with experience from actual project managers in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The organization and recommendations of this manual generally follow the 7-step process recommended for tamarisk projects (defining a goal, establish a realistic restoration objective, prioritize and select sites, create site-specific restoration plan, implement plan, conduct post-project monitoring, and engage adaptive management). 
     
    This manual can be purchased from Dr. Anna Sher, via her website.
  • These resources, including a long-term management calculator, handbook, and factsheet are designed to help practitioners calculate how to budget for lasting conservation outcomes for restoration sites. 

  • Rapid Monitoring Protocol used in the DRRP

  • The purpose of the Study, funded by the Bureau of Reclamation, was to define current and future imbalances in water supply and demand in the Basin and the adjacent areas of the Basin States that receive Colorado River water over the next 50 years (through 2060), and to develop and analyze adaptation and mitigation strategies to resolve those imbalances.

  • This publication has been prepared by the Public Lands Foundation to define and clarify the status of federal public lands in America and to answer questions people pose on a daily basis, such as:
     
    • How did the United States acquire the public lands owned collectively by the American people?
    • How did the United States transfer most of the original public lands to state, private and other ownerships?
    • How did the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior, become responsible for administering its remaining 245 million acres of public domain lands, now known as the National System of Public Lands?
    • How does federal ownership and management of public domain lands benefit Americans? 
  • This strategy addresses the long-term management of saltcedar, Russian olive, and Siberian elm in the narrow belts of riparian vegetation along the Rio Grande, Pecos, Canadian, San Juan, and Gila/San Francisco River systems, including connected perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral streams.

  • This website provides a suite of resources produced by the Sonoran Institute, an Arizona based nonprofit focused on connecting people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them. 

Goal Setting & Prioritization

  •  University of Arizona Press, Briggs, M.K. and W.R. Osterkamp. 2020
     
     
    This guidebook builds on what came before, developing it as both a guidance 'how to' as well as a reference. Where restoration topics are well-documented and well-traveled, we offer references. Where not, we offer detailed guidance on how to develop a stream restoration response start to finish.
     
  • The objective of the Healthy Rivers Assessment, authored by The Nature Conservancy, is to serve as a resource and guidance document to provide current freshwater ecosystem baselines and inform project design and prioritization.
     
    This analysis offers a comprehensive assessment of freshwater ecosystems in Colorado, scaled to the HUC 12 subwatershed level, and offers insight into opportunities to maintain, protect, and restore rivers and streams throughout Colorado. 
  • This paper describes way that the state of California could benefit from enacting goals in the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration

  •  
     
    Overview:
     
    Our rivers are in crisis and the need for river restoration has never been more urgent. Water security and biodiversity indices for all of the world’s major rivers have declined due to pollution, diversions, impoundments, fragmented flows, introduced and invasive species, and many other abuses.
     
    Developing successful restoration responses are essential. Renewing Our Rivers addresses this need head-on with examples of how to design and implement stream-corridor restoration projects. Based on the experiences of seasoned professionals, Renewing Our Rivers provides stream restoration practitioners the main steps to develop successful and viable stream restoration projects that last. Ecologists, geomorphologists, and hydrologists from dryland regions of Australia, Mexico, and the United States share case studies and key lessons learned for successful restoration and renewal of our most vital resource.
     
    The aim of this guidebook is to offer essential restoration guidance that allows a start-to-finish overview of what it takes to bring back a damaged stream corridor. Chapters cover planning, such emerging themes as climate change and environmental flow, the nuances of implementing restoration tactics, and monitoring restoration results. Renewing Our Rivers provides community members, educators, students, natural resource practitioners, experts, and scientists broader perspectives on how to move the science of restoration to practical success.
     
  • This report synthesizes key programmatic successes and lessons learned from collaborative watershed restoration partnerships in the Colorado River Basin (CRB), with emphasis on partnerships funded by the Walton Family Foundation (WFF or Foundation), through its Freshwater Initiative Program. The intended audience for this report includes potential funders interested in replicating or contributing to a comparable program, as well as other professionals and community members looking to initiate or enhance collaborative restoration efforts within their respective watersheds.

    RiversEdge West (REW), a regional nonprofit with the mission of improving riparian habitat through education, collaboration, and technical assistance, was tasked by the WFF to synthesize this report given its long-term role as a leader and technical assistance provider for the watershed partnership groups profiled in this document.   

    Utilizing its long-standing relationships, REW completed interviews with a suite of partners in an attempt to discern and catalogue programmatic successes and lessons learned across watersheds. Information garnered from these discussions has been compiled, with specific comments remaining anonymous. Other literature was utilized to augment personal communications.

  • This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service's recommendations for management of tamarisk in the Southwestern US. 

  • This Trout Unlimited Report describes the many and varied threats facing native and wild trout in this country. Threats have evolved over time, from agriculture and mining practices of the past to a new suite of problems related to four primary issues: energy development, introduction of non-native species, increasing water use and demand, and climate change. Legacy problems remain in many areas and their impacts are compounded by these emerging challenges.

Partnerships

  • Authors: Anna A. Shera, Hisham El Waera, Eduardo Gonzáleza,b, Robert Andersona, Annie L. Henrya, Robert Biedrona, PengPeng Yuea

    This report includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the vegetation response to a single watershed-scale restoration effort that includes 40 sites along the Dolores River from 2010-2014.

  • This document profiles restoration success stories from New Mexico. Projects were funded through the River Ecosystem Restoration Initiative.

  •  
     
    Watershed Management Group’s River Run Network
     
    Trevor Hare*1, Lisa Shipek2, Catlow Shipek3
     
    1River Restoration Biologist, Watershed Management Group, Tucson, Arizona USA; thare@watershedmg.org; 520 906-9854
    2Executive Director, Watershed Management Group, Tucson, Arizona, USA
    3Policy and Technical Director, Watershed Management Group, Tucson, Arizona, USA; info@watershedmg.org, www.watershedmg.org
     
     
    In 2014 Watershed Management Group started the River Run Network to foster support for our 50-year vision to restore Tucson’s heritage of flowing rivers and creeks. The network is made up of individuals and organizations that share this vision and are dedicated to taking action to protect remaining riparian areas and restore those we have lost.
     
    The Tucson basin was divided into streamsheds that are made up of stream reaches and adjacent uplands that most influences the stream and have common characteristics and restoration goals. On our interactive web-based map the public can find their area of interest and see how the area connects to the stream through nearby drainages, arroyos, and shallow groundwater areas; and what the impacts are from nearby groundwater wells, residential and commercial developments, and road infrastructure.
    For each streamshed there are specific recommendations on the actions anybody can take to enhance local groundwater infiltration, riparian habitat, and streamflow. Actions focus on conserving water, reducing groundwater demands, increasing recharge, and restoring rivers, creeks, arroyos and riparian habitat. Examples of restoration projects undertaken by WMG will be shared and include work along Tanque Verde Creek and Ciénega Creek.
     
    The River Run Network was recently bolstered by a Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant to support the formation of the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative and development of a Santa Cruz Watershed Restoration Plan. The Collaborative is made up of local, state and federal government agencies, conservation organizations, farmers, water providers, and businesses with a mission “To collaboratively restore the hydrological and ecological function of the watershed. By fostering cooperation, SCWC enables watershed leaders to make well-informed management and policy decisions.”
     
     
     
  • 2018 Dolores River Restoration Partnership Annual Report 

  • This report synthesizes key programmatic successes and lessons learned from collaborative watershed restoration partnerships in the Colorado River Basin (CRB), with emphasis on partnerships funded by the Walton Family Foundation (WFF or Foundation), through its Freshwater Initiative Program. The intended audience for this report includes potential funders interested in replicating or contributing to a comparable program, as well as other professionals and community members looking to initiate or enhance collaborative restoration efforts within their respective watersheds.

    RiversEdge West (REW), a regional nonprofit with the mission of improving riparian habitat through education, collaboration, and technical assistance, was tasked by the WFF to synthesize this report given its long-term role as a leader and technical assistance provider for the watershed partnership groups profiled in this document.   

    Utilizing its long-standing relationships, REW completed interviews with a suite of partners in an attempt to discern and catalogue programmatic successes and lessons learned across watersheds. Information garnered from these discussions has been compiled, with specific comments remaining anonymous. Other literature was utilized to augment personal communications.

  • Chris Sturm, Colorado Water Conservation Board, presents on Flood Recovery Update from the Colorado Water Conservation Board at the 2016 Conference.
  • The facilitator tool kit is a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to tools, methods and techniques for assisting groups with planning and improvement projects and interactive meetings. Its clear, simple explanations and directions lead the reader through the selection and application of practical tools that have been tested with university groups.

  •  
     
     
    Local Southwest Utah Partnership Engages Youth to Mitigate Flood Damage, Control Invasive Species, and Restore Native Habitat
     
    Wesley Pickett1*, Ian Torrence2, Aaron Wilson3
     
    1American Conservation Experience, Hurricane, UT, USA; wpickett@usaconservation.org
    2American Conservation Experience, Flagstaff, AZ, USA; itorrence@usaconservation.org
    3American Conservation Experience, Hurricane, UT, USA; awilson@usaconservation.org
     
     
    American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit service organization, provides its young and diverse members with career-building opportunities in the field of restoration through education and hands-on experience. Facilitation of member growth comes partly through the organization's commitment to partners with like-minded federal, state, local, and non-profit land agencies and organizations that assist with member guidance and mentorship. Since the fall of 2014, ACE crews, based out of Hurricane, Utah, worked in conjunction with the Washington County Flood Control Authority (WCFCA). In August of 2012 Washington County, the City of St. George, Washington City, and Santa Clara City entered into an inter-local agency cooperative agreement establishing the Washington County Flood Control Authority.  The purpose of the Flood Control Authority (FCA) is to better share management, administration, and cost responsibilities for regional stormwater drainage and flood control concerns that cross common community boundaries. Projects that were completed under WCFCA guidance engaged youth crews in restoring riparian ecosystems around the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers while protecting residential and commercial infrastructure in Washington County from potentially future devastating flooding events.
     
    Crews surveyed for salt cedar (Tamarix spp.), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), giant reed (Arundo donax), flood debris piles, and damaged infrastructure (like gabion baskets and bridges). This work provided the WCFCA data on areas of infrastructural concern and highlighted priority areas for invasive species removal. ACE crews controlled salt cedar, Russian olive, and giant reed along the riparian corridors of the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers by mechanical and chemical means. Additionally, along the Santa Clara River, ACE crews revegetated with native plant species in an area that was once clogged with vegetation and beaver dams and was previously at risk for flooding during high water events.
     
    Through monitoring, invasive plant control, and planting native species, ACE’s members played a critical role in the long term ecological restoration in Washington County’s Virgin and Santa Clara River corridors. Completing this work, in partnership with a local organization, advanced members’ restoration experience, knowledge, and skills through hands-on career-building opportunities. This poster will demonstrate how meaningful partnerships provide youth from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to engage in successful restoration projects and connect invasive plant management in a wilderness setting to an urban landscape.
     
     
     
     

Funding

  • A brief analysis of NRCS funding programs, considering which lands may be involved in each of the different funding opportunities.

  • This document provides a generic template for grant budget development. 

  • This documents provides a template for tracking multiple funding streams from multiple sources in the watershed partnership setting. Please note that formulas may need to be adjusted and updated. 

  • This document summarizes governance structure information acquired during the analysis of watershed initiative case studies examined for the 2011 Tamarisk Coalition report Sustainable Funding Options for a Comprehensive Riparian Restoration Initiative in the Colorado River Basin. This document’s purposes are 1) to inform a discussion of governance structures that may be appropriate to manage a Colorado River Basin Restoration Initiative and, 2) to inform governance structure discussions for Colorado River tributary restoration initiatives, given their respective political climates and potentially viable funding options.

  • 2018 Dolores River Restoration Partnership Annual Report 

  • To ensure that TC’s Funding Program targets the real needs of restoration practitioners, we conducted a survey in 2014.  The survey collected valuable firsthand information about the components of restoration work that are the most difficult to fund and is being used to communicate with funders of restoration to help them better understand where there is a need for more restoration funding.
    The survey results indicate that:
    • The majority of survey respondents (36.11%) agreed that Monitoring is the top most difficult restoration work component to fund.
    • The majority of survey respondents (41.67%) agreed that Planning and Project Management is the second most difficult restoration work component to fund.
    • The majority of respondents (56.25%) of survey respondents agreed that Watershed-wide Monitoring was the most difficult type of monitoring to fund.
    • The majority of survey respondents (58.62%) agreed that of the Planning and Project Management activities, fundraising was the most difficult to fund.
  • These documents provide an overview of why and how to track in-kind contributions.

  • These worksheets were developed by The Foundation Center and provide helpful exercises for thinking through and developing the components of a Fundraising Plan. Attached is an example of a sample fundraising plan as well. 

Project Management

Other Considerations

  •  
      The Middle Rio Grande Farm and River Resilience Program
     
    Adrian Oglesby1*, Paul Tashjian2*
     
    1UNM Utton Transboundary Resources Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, adrian@lawoftheriver.com
    2Audubon New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, paul.tashjian@audubon.org
     
     
    Audubon New Mexico and the Utton Transboundary Resources Center at the University of New Mexico are helping the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District develop an innovative new farm and river conservation program.   This comprehensive effort aims to increase the resilience of both the Middle Rio Grande ecosystem and the 65,000 acres of farmland it supports in the face of increasingly variable water supplies.  This effort aims to benefit farmers by advancing efficient water delivery and use, thus increasing the dependability of water supply for sustainable agriculture, endangered species compliance, and our rare Bosque and riverine habitat.  A guiding principle for this effort is that sustaining healthy agriculture in the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico is crucial to maintaining a healthy river ecosystem.
     
    This presentation will highlight the tools and activities that are being used or are under consideration for implementation, which include:
    • Water delivery system efficiency improvements;
    • On-farm irrigation efficiency improvements;
    • Improvement to irrigation scheduling and water delivery practices;
    • Technical and financial resources to support productive agriculture and efficient water use;
    • Voluntary water leasing within the Middle Rio Grande to promote innovative and successful farming, ecosystem health and species conservation; and,
    • Habitat restoration and development to improve effectiveness of species conservation at locations associated with leased water returns to the river; and,
    • Design and installation of irrigation infrastructure to allow for i additional connections back to the river.
     
    In its first year of pilot implementation this program has resulted in the development of split season leasing protocols, late season leases of 260 acres, delivery of leased water through the irrigation system to key habitat sites along and in the river, and restoration designs for these locations to ensure optimal habitat during drought conditions. The restoration of these key delivery points from the irrigation system back to the river will ensure that minimal water delivery to the river during severe drought will have maximum conservation benefit. 
     
    The Program is planning the expansion of water leasing options for 2021, which may include a full season option or multi-year options.  All this is being conducted under the specter of record drought conditions and increased annual drying in the watershed due to climate change, making this work both timely and essential.   
     
     
     
     
  •  
     
     
    Salinity-Herbivore-Plant Interactions: Effects of Plant Health, Beetle Defoliation, and Local Adaptation on Tamarix Growth
     
    Randall Long1*, Tom Dudley2, Adam Lambert3, Kevin Hultine4
     
    1Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
    2Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
    3Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
    4Research, Conservation and Collections, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
     
     
    Tamarix, a non-native tree, is abundant in riparian areas throughout the western US and is highly successful in adverse environments that combine high salinity and arid conditions, with genotypes being locally adapted to the site conditions. In addition, Tamarix is repeatedly defoliated over the growing season by the tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda spp.). This defoliation has resulted in variation of dieback, with soil salinity being shown to be correlated with dieback. To investigate whether there are synergistic interactions between salinity and herbivory we conducted a greenhouse experiment using two genotypes of Tamarix from different salinities at the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. The plants were grown under reciprocal salinities and then defoliated using Diorhabda carinulata. Beetle preference for plant-salinity interactions were measured using choice trials to test if beetles preferred healthier plants as local adaptation to site salinity exists in Tamarix. Biomass accumulation was measured to test our hypothesis that there would be a synergistic effect of salinity and herbivory, with a prediction that low salinity genotypes would be most affected in high salinity.
     
    A Pearson’s Chi-squared test was used to evaluate if beetle choice was influenced by salinity, and was found to be significant (2(2) =20.67, p << 0.001,  =0.05). With beetles preferring plants that were grown in the salinity in which they were collected from, supporting our hypothesis that beetles preferred healthier plants. With respect to the synergistic effect of salinity and herbivory we found that there was a significant interaction between beetle herbivory and salinity on biomass accumulation of both leaves (ANOVA: F1,56 =19.84, p<<0.001) and stems (ANOVA: F1,56 =2.88, p =0.095). Combined these results indicate that beetles preferentially feed on healthy plants, but that increased salinity leads to synergistic effects in reducing total biomass.
     
     
     
     
  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center convened a workshop June 23-25, 2015, in Flagstaff, Ariz. for practitioners in restoration science to share general principles, successful restoration practices, and discuss the challenges that face those practicing riparian restoration in the southwestern United States. Presenters from the Colorado River and the Rio Grande basins, offered their perspectives and experiences in restoration at the local, reach and watershed scale. Outcomes of the workshop include this Proceedings volume, which is composed of extended abstracts of most of the presentations given at the workshop, and recommendations or information needs identified by participants. The organization of the Proceedings follows a general progression from local scale restoration to river and watershed scale approaches, and finishes with restoration assessments and monitoring.
     
  • The Association of Wetland Managers (ASWM) works hard to stay abreast of time sensitive hot topics, including new policies, regulations and trending topics of interest to those involved and/or interested in wetland management and practice. From time to time, these topics do not fit in any of our current webinar series offerings so ASWM started offering a Hot Topics Webinar Series as a way to get important information out quickly to a broad audience. Some of the topics in the past have included the Clean Water Rule, the Ramsar Convention and international projects, complex legal cases, environmental economics and more. These webinars are advertised through our website, newsletters, social media and emails. There is no specific day of the month when these webinars occur. For more information and/or to join our email list for notices about upcoming events, please contact Laura Burchill at laura@aswm.org.

  • Based on research conducted on the lower White River in Colorado, it was found that tamarisk establishment enhanced not only sediment deposition that leads to channel narrowing, but also to new vegetation establishment. Plants increased the friction in the channel,thus decreasing water velocity close to plants. Low velocity areas became susceptible to furthervegetation encroachment, particularly if they did not have high velocities for a series of ~4 or more years. As vegetation encroached and changed the shape of the channel, the importance of common and large floods, for vegetation establishment and sediment transport, changed.
     
    Application of this process-based understanding to future flow regimes will help managers anticipate locations along the channel that are susceptible to vegetation encroachment andchanges to channel width.
  •  University of Arizona Press, Briggs, M.K. and W.R. Osterkamp. 2020
     
     
    This guidebook builds on what came before, developing it as both a guidance 'how to' as well as a reference. Where restoration topics are well-documented and well-traveled, we offer references. Where not, we offer detailed guidance on how to develop a stream restoration response start to finish.
     
  •  
     
    Why Do Some Restoration Projects Fail and Others Succeed? A Quantitative Look at 243 Sites for Environmental, Management, and Social Factors
     
    Anna Sher1*, Annie L. Henry2, Lisa B. Clark2, Alex Goetz2, and Eduardo González2,3
     
    1University of Denver, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Denver, CO, USA; anna.sher@du.edu 
    2University of Denver, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Denver, CO, USA
    3Colorado State University Dept. of Biology, Fort Collins, CO
     
     
    Tamarix control projects in riparian systems vary widely in their success at meeting project goals. Researchers have investigated the role of removal methods and the environment to explain this variability, but the human component has rarely been explored. Our previous research had found that in this system, land managers mostly follow scientific recommendations regardless of background or attitudes, however, the question remained how much these choices, or even aspects of background or experience, actually explained restoration outcomes. This research quantifies the relative roles of environmental factors and both manager decisions and traits for explaining the impact of Tamarix removal projects throughout the southwestern U.S. To do this, we have created 243 pairs of sites where Tamarix has been removed with controls to quantify impact. Our response measure was a PCA of those metrics that mattered most to managers as a measure of success, that is, a change in 1) Tamarix cover, 2) total native species cover, 3) relative understory native cover, and 4) understory noxious species cover. We then determined how much of the variability in this dependent variable could be explained by commonly used environmental factors such as soil texture and chemistry, geography, measures of water availability, and removal method. We then determined to what degree human factors explained the remaining, unexplained variance (i.e., residuals). These human data were collected from 45 corresponding managers of these sites who completed questionnaires about their practices and backgrounds. We found that decisions made by managers beyond removal method mattered for the degree to which Tamarix removal changed plant communities, including what priorities had been established for the site and how many collaborators were involved with the project. This is the first study to quantify the direct relationship between human traits and vegetation in this ecosystem type, and with implications for improving restoration outcomes in the future.
     
     
  •  

    A prescription for drug-free rivers: uptake of pharmaceuticals by a widespread streamside willow

    Carmen Franks, David Pearce, Stewart Rood

     

    Abstract:

    Following human excretion and limited removal with wastewater treatment, pharmaceuticals are accumulating in rivers worldwide. These chemicals can challenge the health of fish and aquatic organisms and since rivers provide drinking water sources, there is concern for cumulative exposure to humans. In this study, we discovered that sandbar willow (Salix exigua), a predominant riparian shrub along streams throughout North America, has the capacity to quickly remove pharmaceuticals from aqueous solutions. Our study tracked [3 H]- or [14C]-labeled substances including 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), a synthetic estrogen in oral contraceptives; the antihypertensive, diltiazem (DTZ); and the anti-anxiety drug, diazepam (DZP); and for comparison, atrazine (ATZ), a root-absorbed herbicide. In growth chambers, willow saplings removed 40–80% of the substances from solutions in 24 h. Following uptake, the EE2 and DTZ were retained within the roots, while DZP and ATZ were partly passed on to the shoots. The absorbed EE2 was unextractable and apparently bound to the root tissue, while DTZ, DZP, and ATZ remained largely soluble (extractable). The uptake and translocation of the pharmaceuticals, reflected in the transpiration stream and root concentration factors, were reasonably predicted from their physicochemical properties, including octanol-water partitioning coefficients. These findings suggest the removal of pharmaceuticals as an unrecognized ecosystem service provided by riparian vegetation and especially the inundation tolerant sandbar willow. This encourages the conservation of riparian willows that line riverbanks, to remove pharmaceuticals and other contaminants. This phytoremediation also encourages the preservation of complex, braided channels and islands, which increase the extent of stream shorelines and riparian willows.

     

     

  • This website provides a suite of resources produced by the Sonoran Institute, an Arizona based nonprofit focused on connecting people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them. 

  • Protecting Wildlife When Using Herbicides for Invasive Plant Management

    Produced by the California Invasive Plant Council & Pesticide Research Institute

    Controlling invasive plants is often a high priority when protecting wildlife habitat, and those working to protect wildlife from invasive plants want to be sure their approach is safe for wildlife. This manual of Best Management Practices focuses on how land managers can best protect wildlife when using herbicides to control invasive plants. While any invasive plant control method can potentially impact wildlife, chemical control methods are the focus of this report. The toxicology information presented shows data on herbicides most commonly used for invasive plant management in California natural areas.

    The Best Management Practices are drawn from methods used by experienced land managers. Along with providing guidance for land managers, this document is designed to inform the interested public about how herbicides are used to control invasive plants in natural areas.  

     

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.

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