Webinar: Quantifying the benefits of watershed restoration in the face of climate change: Developing and testing a toolbox for managers that focuses on the impacts of road systems
Presenter: Anne A. Carlson, The Wilderness Society, Bozeman, MT
Water is an extraordinarily precious resource across the United States, particularly in the semi-arid West. Efforts to manage this resource effectively have often focused on our public lands, which are the source of more than 75% of the water for millions of people. The challenges associated with managing water sustainably continue to mount with increasing demands, the advent of new stressors like climate change, and other stressors like water quality and habitat degradation associated with expanding watershed development.
Over the course of the past three years, the Great Northern LCC has supported the development and testing of a watershed-scale set of monitoring protocols to address numerous current management challenges. The intent of the project has been to enable more effective restoration and management of aquatic ecosystems and native salmonid habitat across the Crown of the Continent and those portions of the larger Great Northern LCC landscape that share similar climate and geological conditions.
In this webinar, we will summarize efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, and their partners to design and test monitoring and prioritization protocols for entire watersheds across a 1.5 million acre set of restoration projects in the southwestern Crown of the Continent. The webinar will focus on the datasets, tools, methodology, reports, and publications available to managers to use as a result of this collaborative work, and will describe the applicability and current use of these tools across different management jurisdictions.
A final discussion piece will focus on the development of West-wide partnerships over the course of this project. More specifically, in addition to providing useful tools and information for managing aquatic systems and fish habitats, this monitoring program has established conservation partnerships within and between the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and National Aquatic Monitoring Program, and U.S. Geological Survey Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, other federal and state agencies, the University of Montana, and NGOs within the region. Another exciting development is the participation of Seeley Lake High School in ongoing efforts to monitor stream nutrients in the Morrell Creek watershed as part of this nested monitoring program. This “Students in Action” project was conceived by local teachers and initiated with support from the Clearwater Resource Council, a partner in the work described here.